Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Life: A Pre-Existing Condition

Life: A Pre-Existing Condition
If you have a pulse, you may be disqualified. If you're breathing and believe you have a chance of ever becoming ill or suffering an injury due to an accident at any point in your existence, you're definitely at risk. Welcome to the very scary world of Trumpcare 2.0 where cutting money from Medicaid supposedly saves lives.

Those who feel immune to the possibility of having their private health insurance canceled should think again. With the repeal of the current Affordable Care Act (A.C.A.), which prohibited insurance companies from cancelling policies for pre-existing conditions, you could now be denied health insurance coverage for:

AIDS/HIV, lupus, alcohol abuse/drug abuse with recent treatment, severe mental disorders such as bipolar disorder or an eating disorder, Alzheimer’s/dementia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other inflammatory joint disease, muscular dystrophy, cancer, severe obesity, cerebral palsy, organ transplant, congestive heart failure, paraplegia, coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery, paralysis, Crohn’s disease/ ulcerative colitis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease /emphysema, pending surgery or hospitalization, diabetes mellitus, pneumocystic pneumonia, epilepsy, pregnancy or expectant parent, hemophilia, sleep apnea, hepatitis C, stroke, kidney disease, renal failure, transsexualism.  

Other conditions that could make it harder to purchase a health insurance plan include: Acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, basal cell skin cancer (a type of skin cancer that doesn't tend to spread), depression, ear infections, fractures, high cholesterol, hypertension, incontinence, joint injuries, kidney stones, menstrual irregularities, migraine headaches, overweight, restless leg syndrome, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, varicose veins, and vertigo. (http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/from-acne-to-pregnancy-heres-every-preexisting-condition-that-could-get-you-denied-insurance-under-trumps-new-healthcare-bill/)

It that's not enough, you can also be denied coverage in some states for injuries and illness caused by rape and domestic violence, since they're seen as pre-existing conditions. Moral of the story: Don't get raped and don't become involved with a partner who will beat you up and/or give you a sexually transmitted disease. After all, it's all your fault if you're denied health insurance coverage because you hang around with losers or are unexpectedly attacked, right?

I hope you can see why all Americans are going to hurt--and hurt badly--if the A.C.A. is repealed for good and the void called Trumpcare 2.0 is passed by the Senate. Sure, some will benefit from the demise of "Obamacare," the derogatory name give to the Affordable Care Act by its detractors, but who benefits the most from its death? Does your income fall in the top 10% of all Americans? You make over a million bucks a year? No? Then you won't benefit from its repeal. Too bad.

Trumpcare 2.0 penalizes the bottom 90% of American earners with the ending of a program which has insured over 40 million Americans--the Medicaid Expansion. Those currently with employer or private health insurance aren't safe, either. They will pay rising premium costs since there will be less insured people over all. Where did all the people go? Well, those with pre-existing conditions will be thrown out of the private insurance pool. A smaller pool of people who can qualify for private health insurance equals bigger premiums for the rest. It's how the free market works when you consider health care as a commodity like pork belly or corn futures.

And ladies remember--pregnancy is a pre-existing condition and insurers won't be required to cover any form of birth control or preventative screenings, such as for breast or cervical cancers. Why worry? Cancer is a pre-existing condition, so what you don't know can't hurt you, right? But be on the safe side, don't ever have sex and don't ever cause yourself to become sexually assaulted. Invest in one of those long flowing black outfits Saudi women wear so you don't entice males to lustful behaviors. (However, be extra-careful you aren't deported or harassed on the street because you don't dress "American.")

What can we do to reverse this tragic situation of Trumpcare 2.0? Contrary to popular belief, our elected representatives work for us and not the health insurance industry. It's up to us to apply pressure and to make them do as We the People tell them to do and not what the sound of unfolding greenbacks in a lobbyist's hand tells them to do. 

That was the advice given at a recent Ohio Single Payer Action Network (SPANOHIO.org) meeting. We were informed that we can't let up on the phone calls, emails, tweets, letters, post cards and visits to the offices of our federal as well as our state representatives, since we might have to pass single payer health care at a state level before a national plan comes about. 

Multiple surveys have shown Americans want a single payer health care system like they've seen/experienced in other countries. We are tired of the complexity, the high  costs and the unfair treatment we receive in the current for-profit health insurance system. The Medicare for All Act (H.R. 676) is gaining favor, and Senator Bernie Sanders will introduce a similar bill into the Senate any day. Our job now is to make our elected officials understand we support these bills and expect them to support them as well.

We the People don't have endless stacks of cash like Big Pharma and the Healthcare insurance industry lobbyists have, but we do have one thing they don't: A moral imperative. We must continually emphasize the truth that lives are at risk--ordinary Americans' lives--and we see health care as a human right, not a privilege. 

Fortunately there are many statistics to back up our position. We don't have to be "experts" on the issue--we just have to be able to say we expect our representatives to listen to the experts and to keep in mind human lives matter more than the mega-wealthy receiving tax breaks. Quote the following article to give them something to think about:


"Working from Medicaid data, Professors David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler estimated that this bill (Trumpcare 2.0) would result in the deaths of 43,956 people every year.

Dividing that ten-year tax cut by the ten-year estimated death toll, we estimate each death provides $787,151 in tax breaks for the wealthy. …The 400 highest earners will each receive an average annual tax cut of $7 million. That comes to nearly ten dead people every year for each of these ultra-rich individuals – just so they can become even richer.

Trump and the other Republicans who support this bill share something in common: their personal tastes may be expensive but, for them, the lives of most Americans are insignificant and cheap."
Here's another article to quote to your representative if he/she continues to ignore the will of the people:
"The American myth that all government enterprises are inefficient and monopolistic ignores the fact that most large corporations in the US are de facto monopolies and are not particularly efficient.
The one percent who profit from health insurance will also try to tell you that government health care takes forever to see you. America’s privatized system also can take a long time to see you. Anyway, nationalizing health insurance would not stop people from going to a private hospital and paying out of pocket if they wanted to.

Here are the countries with a single payer system:
Norway 1912 Single Payer
Japan 1938 Single Payer
United Kingdom 1948 Single Payer
Kuwait 1950 Single Payer
Sweden 1955 Single Payer
Bahrain 1957 Single Payer
Brunei 1958 Single Payer
Canada 1966 Single Payer
United Arab Emirates 1971 Single Payer
Finland 1972 Single Payer
Slovenia 1972 Single Payer
Luxembourg 1973 Insurance Mandate
Italy 1978 Single Payer
Portugal 1979 Single Payer
Cyprus 1980 Single Payer
Spain 1986 Single Payer
Iceland 1990 Single Payer
None of these countries is bankrupt. In fact, health care costs in these states are lower than in the United States and in many of them health statistics are superior to those of the US. Spain, Iceland, the UK, Portugal and Italy all have a life expectancy higher than the US.
The US is the only advanced economy where millions are left without health insurance and are one illness away from bankruptcy and one paycheck away from dying or seeing their children die."
 Other web sites with information you can use:

Physicians for a National Health Program: PNHP.org

FAQs on Single Payer Health Care: http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq 
National Nurses United: nationalnursesunited.org

Healthcare Now: www.healthcare-now.org

Simply mentioning these truths to your US Senator (and/or staff members) this week over the phone and/or in a Tweet and/or in person can make a difference--especially if you and several million others do it repeatedly without let up. We have to make a nuisance of ourselves and bug these politicians on a daily basis until we receive results. This advice comes from a professional health care advocate: We must annoy the hell out of our elected officials until we get the results we deserve--universal health care. She says she tweets daily to Paul Ryan @SpeakerRyan and asks him why not #medicareforall?

Being an ordinary American shouldn't be a crime or a reason for not having access to health care. As Bernie Sanders frequently states, "America is the richest nation on the face of the earth today." If we're so rich we can afford to drop thousands of bombs on other countries and give unnecessary tax cuts to the wealthiest of the wealthy, surely we can afford to provide health care for all our citizens? Surely we feel human life is more important than private health insurance company profits? Life itself shouldn't be "pre-existing condition."


Physician and Single Payer Action Network (SPAN) activist, Dr. John Ross had this to say about Thursday's House vote:

    "The vote on the AHCA was one of the most cowardly, shameful, cruel, and ignorant votes by these 217 members of Congress that any of us have witnessed in our lifetimes.They did not have time to read the bill before they voted. They did not allow time for testimony or debate. They did not wait for the CBO to tell them what the economic impact would be  or the effect on human lives and well being.

    Now,  the bill goes to the Senate, and it is up to us to make sure that it does not go to the President’s desk in anything like its current form.

    What would happen if the Obamacare protections were to disappear without effective replacement?

    240,000 Ohioans, most of whom live below 200 percent of poverty, would  lose marketplace coverage and 660,000 would lose Medicaid coverage.

    We know that for every 1000 people who are uninsured one will die due lack of seeking timely care. This means that we would see 900 extra deaths in Ohio every year -more deaths every year in Ohio alone than will occur among our combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Being uninsured is a greater risk to us than terrorism or being a soldier in combat zones.

    Lifetime limits on health care bills that protect all of us would be lost when the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the US is health care debt even with the Obamacare limits in place.

    Mental health and substance abuse coverage would be lost at the peak of an opioid epidemic.

    We need to hold every one of those who voted yes on this bill accountable. We need to confront them with their ignorance, cruelty, and dereliction of duty whenever they meet with us, their constituents.

    But first we need to flood the mailboxes of our Senators who are now standing between us and the catastrophe that is threatened by the action of the House of Representatives.

    We already know what the best health care solution is. It is called Medicare and it could be improved and expanded for all of us, even the 217 cruel, ignorant, shameful, cowardly members of the House who voted yesterday."


Watch and share Baby Amelia's story: 
It's an example of what can happen when health care is "for profit" and not "for people." Have a box of tissues nearby if you cry easily.

Another good video to watch and share with others that explains the current crisis in the American system of health care: Fix It--Healthcare at the Tipping Pointhttp://www.fixithealthcare.com


Are You a Twitter Expert? Would You Like to Start a Trend?

After learning how effective Twitter can be to reach our public officials this past week, I thought I'd try an experiment. I'd like to see if we can get the hashtag #TrumpCareKills trending on Twitter alongside #MedicareForAll.

Post a comment such as, "Millions of Americans will lose their health care. #TrumpCareKills #MedicareForAll" and then be sure to mention your elected officials and any other politicians you know who need a little reminder before the bill goes to the Senate. Ohio Senator Rob Portman (@senrobportman) is one such "moderate Republican" who many think will not vote to get rid of the A.C.A. if we can persuade him we're serious about it and we're in the majority.

So, start tweeting with the hashtags #TrumpCareKills and #MedicareForAll and tell us how it goes. The life you save may very well be your own.

From the Rainforest Action Network:

We want to keep fighting for people and planet, but to do that we need a free and open internet. Rainforest Action Network frequently depends on our online community to help drive collective action that challenges corporate power to protect our forests, our climate, and our communities.

Tell the FCC to save the internet.
Tell the FCC: Don't Break The Internet!
Now, powerful corporations want to rig the internet to serve their interests. We won strong, enforceable Net Neutrality rules in 2015 that prevented corporations from demanding special treatment for branded websites, or from silencing critics by slowing down traffic to opposing websites.

Fight for the open internet rules now under threat from Trump’s FCC Chairman.

Donald Trump selected former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai as the new chairman of the FCC. Pai’s first priority at the FCC is to overturn Net Neutrality rules. If he is successful, Verizon, Comcast and other giant Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be able to start interfering with our ability as Internet users to control where we go and what we do online. This is the same pattern we are seeing across the Trump administration —  from the EPA to the Department of Energy to the State Department — where corporate profits are being placed above people and planet at every opportunity.

Stop the FCC from destroying the open internet.

This isn’t your usual petition. We are partnering with a large and broad coalition of organizations, from Presente.org to the Progressive Congress Action Fund to submit actual public comments to the FCC. We need to show how broad the opposition is to extending corporate dominance of the Internet.

Can you join us? In order to continue our work to protect the planet and fight for human rights RAN, like many other organizations, needs an open and fair internet.

HerreraHeadshot_100px.jpgChristopher Herrera
Communications Director
Rainforest Action Network

 From the Women's March:


The final action in our 10 Actions / 100 Days Campaign, Pledge of Liberation, centers on our firm belief that none of us are free until all of us are free. 

Today, six months since Election Day, we call for a nationwide day of action to reaffirm our commitment to each other and our collective liberation in response to this administration's constant stream of dangerous and discriminatory Executive Orders, and to Congress’ repeated attacks on our health care, our identities, and our lives. We cannot pledge allegiance to an administration that oppresses and harms us. Instead, we pledge allegiance to the liberation of all people. We pledge allegiance to each other.

  1. SIGN the Pledge of Liberation.
  2. ATTEND a demonstration. There are more than 60 actions planned in 20+ states. Find one near you.
  3. TWEET your #PledgeOfLiberation.
  4. WRITE MESSAGES IN CHALK on streets and sidewalks that you would like your community and elected officials to hear. Share photos of your messages on social media. Use these graphics as inspiration. Put them up in your windows or bring them to a demonstration you're attending! Together, we will send a clear message that we are united in our commitment to collective liberation.

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