Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More Civic Engagement

The 90-something woman in a wheelchair talked about her WWII vet husband, living in a VA facility, supported by services provided through Arizona's Medicaid expansion.

The nicely dressed 40-something woman wore her Planned Parenthood button proudly on her chest; she held dozens of pink postcards destined for the Senator's desk.

The 60-something gentleman carried a sign:  Sen. Flake, Choose One:  ⌧ Leader ⌧ Lackey

The 40-something lady on crutches swung her legs through the open door and into the office with a smile on her face and fervor in her heart.

I was there, too, 60-something and sweaty, carrying a letter written on my personalized stationary.  They know my story, but I continue to repeat it.

For all of us, the facts remain the same.  Our lives would be quite different if the ACA is repealed.

Yes, it's falling apart, but that is, in large measure, due to the uncertainty surrounding continued funding.  If I've heard it once I've heard it a thousand times: insurance companies like stability.  It's easier for them to pull out than to manage the chaos.

I can't blame them.  I can blame President Trump and the Republican Party, including all three of my Federal, elected officials.  Martha McSally's amendment requiring government officials to use the AHCA has vanished from the Senate's proposal.  I've not heard a peep from her about that.  Sen. Flake was Gabby's friend, he saw her suffering, he doesn't think that universal health care is a good idea.  Sen. McCain remains skeptical, but I've heard no proposals from his office, one way or the other.

All of us outside Sen. Flake's office this morning had ideas.  We shared them, in writing, with the 20-something young man behind the bullet-proof glass.  We shared them with one another, smiling at our activism and its results - as we were parking, the news came over our individual car radios that Mitch McConnell failed to rally the troops.  The vote is put off until after the recess.

And so, there is more work to be done.  Indivisible and Move On can aim you in the right direction, whether it is calling or writing or protesting with signs and chants and microphones and bullhorns. In addition to being the resource for all things trails, American Trails provides a screen shot view of all the links and phone numbers you could possibly need; they even show you how to address your MOC.  Resistbot will type up a fax for you and send it on its way; it doesn't require an app or a download.

None of the calling or writing takes more than 5 minutes.  While you're waiting for the coffee to perk, the toast to toast, the carpool to arrive.... make use of the time and feel good about yourself and become a part of the solution.  

And this goes for those of you who might think that Repeal and Replace is a good thing.  Your voices should be heard, as well.  I've been looking for you, fruitlessly.  I often feel as if I'm preaching to the choir, here in The Burrow.  It may be possible, on this issue,  that the choir is the entire population of the United States.


  1. I have a mix of friends who are liberal or conservative; so I've heard both sides of this. My own feeling is whatever is done needs to be responsible. Some think because the dems speak kindly, that means they are better people. Actions speak louder than words. We have to pay for what we do. If we can't bring down costs, this will skyrocket. It has been falling apart before Trump though I know some would like to believe it's all him.

    Medicare for all has an advantage where some will pay for supplemental plans as old folks do if they can afford it. We have to recognize that with medicare for all there might be problems. Do you treat all illnesses in all ages? What about someone who continues to smoke or is obese or an alcoholic where their health problems may relate to lifestyle? Does the government say-- change your ways or you're cut off? It is not simple once it goes to everyone. Some run to a doctor with every little sniffle. Do we say enough is enough or let them keep visiting for their emotional comfort? It is not simple even if it sounds that way.

    And then there is the $20 trillion dollar debt with all the unfunded mandates hanging out there. Is there a breaking point? I talked to a liberal friend who said debt is good. I don't disagree when it's for infrastructure, but when it's paying day to day expenses with no hope to get a handle on it, no, it's not good.

    Some of the questions with health care for all will be hard ones-- like do we give someone my age the same kind of extreme treatment, such as transplants, as we do someone in their 30s? Do we keep people alive as long as possible when all we are doing is extending dying-- and racking up bills? Americans don't like hard questions but can we really keep promising what we cannot pay for?

    The ACA depended on the government paying part of the costs with the idea that supposedly health care costs would go down. They didn't and who figured they would once there was this mandate to buy insurance for even those who weren't needing it.

    I don't like some of what the GOP are proposing. I do think their fix is going to hurt a lot of people but something has to be done and ideally to get costs down. Taking insurance out of the equation would help but then who manages it and how many jobs are lost? For those who want easy solutions with the word resist-- this ain't one where there will be an easy fix. It's going to make people unhappy one way or the other. In countries that pull it off, they are often more similar genetically, have higher tax rates (like Sweden at 65%) are we all willing to pay 65% of what we make to pay the bills or does that endlessly growing debt (under both parties) someday have a tipping point?

    1. The ACA required some years to stabilize the markets. I think it was the uncertainty that led to the companies pulling out of the exchanges;they are actuaries and they like stability and knowing what's coming so they can plan. It's easier to reassure stockholders if you flee the scene rather than stay and take unexpected hits.
      Lifetime maximums are a bad thing that's a simple fix and if everyone has insurance then the financial burden is spread among a broad swath and the costs are shared and swallowed up in the larger whole. As to treating a 90 year old or a 2 year old with the sniffles, that's an answer for your heart.
      It isn't easy, but fixing what's already there is easier than repealing and starting from scratch....what were they doing for the eight years they bitched about Obamacare? Certainly not crafting a new and better plan
      It's an I Hate Obama project rather than anything that has to do with medical care. If it were a policy drive program there would be a policy behind it, worked out over the past 8 years and not behind closed doors by old white men,

    2. my daughter and her husband were in one of the co-ops here in Oregon for their employees and themselves. It went bankrupt last year when the government would not continue to keep it afloat. When the costs did not go down, there would be a continued need for tax revenues, that were not there.

      As for the sniffles, I was talking about extreme procedures that run hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you can't afford it all, is there a point where you say-- someone 30 has years ahead but someone 74 does not? Medicare already can deny coverage and that's why some care advantage plans. In the end though, there is an emotional and cost factor. Oregon faced it years ago when they denied some extreme procedures for someone where it would not lead to a cure. Today there are fund me programs to allow communities to pay for what the government might not. This will not be simple and we are not in a situation with such a large debt where we can ignore the practical side of this-- much as many might want. The GOP plan did not put a life limit on benefits (as was true of insurance before ACA) and sadly one thing that kept costs down.

  2. One of the (many) things that drives me nuts is why the COST of medical care in this country is so high. We pay WAY more than other countries for procedures, and our outcomes are not concomitantly better. Given the costs associated with treating most cancers, a lifetime cap is a death sentence for the non-wealthy.
    I can assure you, the entire country is not in the choir. Currently I'm in the presence of people who really believe the swamp is being drained, Hillary will be going to jail soon and things are now better. Spouse and I have decided to abstain from any and all discussions on the subject.
    Thanks for taking the time to go to the offices of your legislators. I did wonder what had happened to McSally's bill to make congress people suffer along with the rest of the citizens.

  3. And then there's the whole piece of Medicare not being able to negotiate prices with the drug companies, of the companies being able to deduct HUGE salaries to executives, the fact that lobbyists saw the bill before Senators..... ugh....

  4. Love u friend and am fishing off of Ketchikan AK n have connection. Yay. Do far they cannot sell a BAD bill. 12% approval. It is working. Will get back on it when back😘


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