Affordable health care is on its DEATH BED

Max Blaska, Clarion Staff

The past week, the Supreme Court reviewed the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act, and it doesn’t look good. The Supreme Court is going to release their judgment in June, five months away from the election

A Harvard study in 2009 stated that uninsured working-Class Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death when compared to people who are privately insured. The study also said that after taking out other factors, the lack of health insurance cost the lives of nearly 45,000 people annually.

This is a pro-life issue, but most people who claim to be pro-life are against helping people who don’t have insurance. They say that “obamacare” is an attack on liberty and freedom. They don’t want the federal government helping people with their health care. Like a member of the tea party said at a health care rally “get your hands off my Medicare.” The stupidity of that comment is mind-boggling.

Republicans in congress want to even gut Medicaid and Medicare by leaving it to the states and creating a voucher system

The load bearing wall of the Affordable Health Care Act is the individual mandate. If we don’t have a single payer government run health care system then we need to rely on private insurance.

But insurance companies will not cover those at risk, they won’t accept people who change jobs but have a pre-existing condition and if they are forced to do so, premiums will sky-rocket. That is why I believe the individual mandate is so important.

In the 1990s, Newt Gingrich and conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, came up with an individual mandate as a conservative alternate to “Hillarycare.” Newt Gingrich, then speaker, and Bob Dole, Senate Majority leader at the time almost made a deal on this with President Bill Clinton but it feel through on Clinton’s part.

If The Affordable Health Care Act is repealed, 30,000 people will lose their health insurance and if Senator Paul Ryan’s budget is enacted, thousands more will as well Even those who keep their insurance will pay between 50-70 percent of their health care cost out of pocket.

The thing about this that sickens me is that this isn’t just about legalities and constitutional problems. It is based on greed. It is based on keeping taxes for the wealthy low and to keep the profits of insurance companies high.

In 2008, CEOs from Aetna, Health Net, and Humana, each received, $24,300,112,  $4,764,309 and $4,764,309 respectively.

It is immoral when thousands of people have to debate whether to buy food or go to a doctor for a moderate to severe condition. This is immoral.

Sarah Palin made famous the words “Death Panels.” Well there are death panels; they are in the board rooms where the board looks at profit margins and ways to maximize their profits at the expense of the common man. When they deny someone health insurance and they die from treatable diseases. Those business’s beuorocrats are the death panels.

Some people say, “Well if these people get sick, there are always emergency rooms.” When people who don’t have insurance and go to the emergency room, sometimes it is too late to do anything for them and the cost goes to the taxpayers. It is better for all to be insured, or if you don’t, to pay the $695 annual fee than to allow the deaths to continue.

You will still be able to see the same doctors. For those who already have insurance, very little will change. But for those who can’t afford health insurance, the changes will be lifesaving.

On a second health care note, a year ago, the World Health Organization’s Margaret Chan reported that there is a very good chance that in 10 or 15 years, Most bacterial infections will be resistant to antibiotics. This would be a disaster. She said, “in a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure and will, once again, kill unabated.”

For example MRSA, a superbug is estimated to have killed 19,000 in United States. Cholera, TB, salmonella are diseases that will kill again. Even if you scrape your knee and it gets infected that could kill you.

Why are we in these straights? Two reasons No. 1 doctors overprescribe anti-biotics. No. 2 there are few new antibiotics being made and put on the market.

It costs money for research and development and drugs that people take on a daily basis. For example, anti-anxiety drugs and Statins. Antibiotics are only taken when you have a bacterial infection.

That and they have to maintain their CEOs huge compensation. For example, Merk and Co’s CEO Richard T Clark received $17.3 million and his company’s profit doubled to $7.8 billion.

Does anyone need $17 million dollars a year? I understand that Pharmaceutical companies have to make a profit so they can put it in research and development to create new drugs and to study them but this is greed, pure and simple.

Life is scared, while money is not. But when it comes to health care many in the health industrial complex are serving money and not their customers, not the sick who need health care or medication.

I wonder if nausea and headaches brought on by the political system is considered a pre-existing condition?