Losing Health Care

I will never understand why Republicans are so zealous about killing the ACA, with nothing to replace affordable health care on which millions now depend. I’ll never understand how they convinced their voters that health insurance is any different from auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance. People by and large don’t balk at carrying an auto policy, without which you can’t legally put a car on the road, or a homeowner’s policy which you need to get a mortgage. Being made to buy health insurance, say Republicans, goes against some basic freedom. I’m not sure what that freedom might be, other than to go to an ER in the case of major illness or accident and be treated at taxpayer expense.

The Salvadoran woman who cleans for me asked if I know anything about getting affordable health insurance for children. She and her husband are legal immigrants, although they may lose their protected status in 2019. They are hard working, doing low-wage jobs that many Americans shun. They pay taxes. The own a modest home. They go to church, and contribute to the community.

They’ve been notified that whatever plan now covers their children is one for which they will shortly be declared ineligible. They were offered what sounds like one of the catastrophic plans the Trump administration is forcing through: high deductible, covers very little, only helps at all in case of catastrophic illness or accident. But that’s not what these little girls need. They need well-child visits, routine immunizations, preventative care to ward off developmental problems that could result in more serious health conditions later.

Regretfully, I don’t know much about the options for affordable health care for people of very modest means — only what I read, and most of that isn’t very hopeful for a family like this.

The hardship to this family is a winner for Trump only in the fevered imaginations of his core voters. For the rest of us, it’s shortsighted and cruel. I’d like to say it isn’t who we are as Americans, and yet…

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