I cannot wrap my brain around what is happening right now in health care. I know that people care about other people. I know they do. I watched last week as hundreds of people from my hometown cried out against bullying that ultimately led to a teenage suicide. I have seen too many to count GoFundMe and CaringBridge pages for friends, family, classmates, and coworkers battling cancer and debilitating disease; for accidents that have required emergency surgery and extended, expensive, hospital stays; in support of sweet babies born prematurely, or innocent children who have fallen sick and have to travel to different cities and states for treatment; for mamas battling postpartum depression. But I would guess that when we forward those stories out to our networks of people or share them on Facebook and ask for donations, suggestions, and prayers, we don’t have to think about the confusing world of heath care they are now thrust into whether they’re ready for it or not? Insurance. Coverage. Will this break me financially?
I’m sure many of you worry about health care and insurance about how I currently have to worry about healthcare. I’m healthy. My kids are healthy. We’ve had to deal with a broken arm and stitches and I had my last baby almost 8 years ago before all hell broke loose in heath care, but no one in my family has to take medications every single day to survive. No one needs therapy everyday. No one has a chronic illness or disease. I’m not over 65. I don’t have a newborn who can’t come home yet because they aren’t strong enough. No one has a heart defect. No one in my family is on Medicaid or has an IEP. I have enough money to pay for health insurance, but I want to be smart with my heath care choices and I’d like to keep my premium costs down so I can save more, pay for college, buy groceries, get a pedicure. So it matters, but I don’t have to make choices about my health care and insurance because my day to day life depends on it.
But now this bogus bill, the Cassidy Graham bill, was backed today by Governor Reynolds here in Iowa. And Senator Grassley, who I am more convinced by the day is punking the people of Iowa, today said that he doesn’t really care what’s in this bill, he’s voting for it because repealing Obamacare is what the Republicans campaigned on. So, for Iowa, this would mean that the money would be turned over to our state to decide how heath care in Iowa should look but there’s all kinds of goodies that got left out, like mandating that insurance companies can’t gouge you for having pre existing conditions or mandating that prenatal benefits, postpartum, or newborn benefits are covered, or mandating that insurers have to cover mental illness benefits. This terrifies me people, because Iowa doesn’t have the best track record in the last few years in making good decisions for ALL Iowans, not just the conservative ones. Privatized Medicaid is a mess. Public Education is dealing with a shoestring budget year after year. All but one mental health hospital has been shut down. There are no mental health beds in the state available without a significant wait. I don’t have that much faith in my state right now.
Please look into this bill and be honest. Are you just going to hope that this is never going to screw over your aging parents. Hope your teenager is never bullied to the point where quality mental health services might be the only thing that saves his life or that marriage counseling at least partially covered by insurance is the only fighting chance to keep your family together because life is freaking hard and messy and your marriage took a huge hit. I pray you never have to decide to put your loved one in a shitty nursing home because they don’t qualify for Medicaid yet but the alternative will bankrupt you. Good for you if you saved your $17k before you thought about getting pregnant and cross your fingers for no gestational diabetes and an easy vaginal delivery, because if your child has any complications or you need a C-section, you’re shit out of luck.
The bottom line is life is unpredictable. It’s messy. It’s hard. It’s devastating. It’s unfair. And we take care of each other when we rally against bullies, or donate money for our friend of a friend who had a heart attack at 40, or was hit by a car, as we freaking should. We donate gift cards to families who have to live at Mayo Clinic while their child has undergoes treatment, as we should. And I get that doing life this way is our quiet way of ensuring that we can judge for ourselves who is worthy of our help, our aid, our money our care. But making insurance affordable and available for everyone might give the same insurance to the family on food stamps who buys soda and junk food or the pregnant, unmarried teen or the smoker or the ones who scam the system or someone who doesn’t deserve it as YOU and that’s sure as hell not fair. Right? But that leaves a whole lot of people on the spectrum of deserving that are going to get punished too, and to me, that’s incredibly unfair.
This bill does just that. First, do your research and put yourself in the position of someone who doesn’t have the luxury of being complacent about this. Scroll back through your web history and read the stories of the friend you know who is waiting for a new liver, your coworker with five kids whose spouse died unexpectedly, your neighbor who has a child battling cancer. They are now in the group of people who this bill will DIRECTLY affect and will completely screw over. Then call your Senators and tell them you expect them to take care of ALL Iowans.
Ernst, Joni – (R – IA)
Grassley, Chuck – (R – IA)