It's a Matter of Life and Death

Neil Gaiman tweeted a link to this article recently.  It’s about a young woman who died, alone and in pain, of a heart attack, because she didn’t have health insurance.

As imperfect as the Affordable Care Act is, it’s a step closer to ensuring that people like Melissa don’t die so needlessly.  And I’d rather see us take that step forward than make no move at all.  I’d rather see us make progress toward the day when there are no more tragedies like this.  We need to start somewhere.

It’s a matter of life and death.

It's a Matter of Life and Death

7 thoughts on “It's a Matter of Life and Death

  1. 1

    From my comments on a Facebook friend's post about this very same issue:Perhaps we can define kicking Republican politicians in their naughty bits as not really being assault either, as far as obtaining police assistance goes.One of her friends responded:Sadly that might not get past the notice of the GOP congressmen.I'm not sure what he meant, exactly, but it was the straight line I needed:It's okay if they notice it. The point is that they shouldn't be able to get any help if it happens to them — because, well, you know… that's just their tough luck that they didn't take adequate precautions to prevent that sort of thing from happening. When you go out in public without your crotch-protector *and* you act like an asshole, isn't that kind of asking for it?Seems to me there's a bumper-sticker in there somewhere.

  2. 2

    One of the "imperfections" of the AHCA is that it would not have helped this woman. The Massachusetts plan didn't help such people, it just made them buy insurance that they couldn't afford to use. The Democrats have given us that same system.Well, there is one possible way it could have helped – if she was poor enough to qualify for Medicaid under the new guidelines (up to 200% of FPL). That is, of course, if she knew she qualified, did the paperwork, and then could find doctors who would accept Medicaid patients. That might be a small issue in some places, but it isn't everywhere.The Democrats can also be blamed should the entire AHCA be ruled void by the courts, as happened in one of the cases in Federal court. They could have written the law in such a way that other portions of it wouldn't be associated with the parts that were ruled unconstitutional. They didn't do this, even though some parts of the act have nothing to do with the individual mandate, which is what's being challenged. That's Lawmaking 101 stuff, and they failed.Who cares about Republicans? They're always going to be assholes. Until progressives are willing to make Democrats pay for doing what they were sent to DC to do, we won't see anything that's worth a crap out of there.

  3. 3

    Until people stop voting for Republicans, the Democrats won't have any incentive to start serving us instead of Wall Street — because they know that no sane and well-informed person would vote Republican, and they know that votes for third-party candidates aren't a serious threat.

  4. 5

    Woozle, your arguments are a great example of why I find being a progressive such a depressing thing these days.First of all, I quite clearly wrote that the problem is that people won't be able to afford to use the insurance they are forced to buy. 133% of FPL is not a good living, not in most places in America. The only insurance most of those people who don't already have insurance will be forced to buy is the minimum – what is essentially catastrophic health insurance. In short, the woman, if that's what she was forced to buy, would have still been unable to afford to go to the doctors, because she still would have had to pay for the visits. This is such a fundamentally simple concept, and yet people seem unable to grasp it.It's almost as though they don't want to.What's worse, your idea that somehow Democrats will stop being conservative when people stop voting for Republicans is exactly the opposite of what any politician who wants to keep his job will do. They try to satisfy the people who will take their votes elsewhere. If you aren't willing to take your vote elsewhere, then they have no motivation to satisfy you. This is Politics 101, and you failed.When progressives stop thinking that basic human motivation doesn't apply in DC, then maybe they'll realize this is true. But the longer I watch progressives, the more I realize that this day will simply never come.

  5. 6

    [Obamacare thread]Your claim, as I understand it, is that Obamacare wouldn't have helped Melissa Mia Hall because she wouldn't have been able to afford to use it because of the deductables.1. Do you actually know what her income level was? Judging from the article, I would have guessed that she was close to the poverty level and would certainly qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare (after 2014).2. Assuming that she did not, and had to pay for one of the sliding-scale plans, Obamacare also mandates a maximum annual deductable of $2000. While that amount can still be daunting, it's something one can imagine paying off over time if one has any surplus at all. 133% of the poverty level is currently $14k for one person; it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that someone making (say) $15k could pay off a $2k debt over a year's time.3. Just to clarify my position: I think we are agreed that Obamacare is deeply flawed. I defend it only because it's clearly better than what we had before, and yet its opponents are using any attack on it (even of the "we need more of it" variety) as support for the idea that it needs to be repealed.4. Further: we too easily concede points made by its opponents when they are based on matters of fact that are verifiably false or misrepresentative. Your point that "she still would have had to pay for the visits" falls into the category of misrepresentations.If care is necessary and yet remains unaffordable, hospitals will not deny the care — I "still had to pay" for my $8000 operation back in 2009, but they did it anyway even knowing that I had no insurance and no money. (If Obamacare had been in effect, I would have been covered by Medicaid and owed nothing, and the hospital which provided the care would have been paid by now.)More importantly, "insurers are prohibited from charging co-payments or deductibles for Level A or Level B preventive care and medical screenings on all new insurance plans." So no, she wouldn't have "had to pay anyway" for those preventive checkups.Unless I'm totally misunderstanding what that text means.

  6. 7

    [Democrats thread]Either the Democrats would have to start behaving, or people would vote for the sane alternative."If you aren't willing to take your vote elsewhere, then they have no motivation to satisfy you."Right now there is nowhere else. The Dems are the sanest viable party.If a large group of people — like, a significant percentage of the US voting population — put their efforts into backing a particular indy/3rd-party candidate, then there might be a chance of winning and I would vote with them even if I preferred some other indy/3p candidate.Hell, if the rumored Paul/Nader ticket actually happened, I might vote for that — even knowing that I would be helping take down Obama and probably allowing some even-worse GOP candidate to win (because the GOP will never, ever nominate Paul), and knowing that Paul was an avid "small government" type who would probably do everything he could to repeal Obamacare. I'm not willing to sacrifice Obamacare lightly, but if it meant a chance at dislodging the entrenched interests, it would be worth it. I hope.Give me an alternative, and I'm there. Right now, we're facing the duopoly of Seriously Evil versus Slightly Evil.Go Slightly Evil Party. *unenthusiastic cheer*

Comments are closed.