The Gadfly totally understands that the Drumpf/Russia ratfucking of our most recent national election makes for exciting and intriguing if not exasperating reading (for those who really want to get to the truth), but there's another story out there that is equally if not just as important as that sordid bit of business.
The Gadfy refers to the GOP's ongoing efforts to Hulk-smash Obamacare and Medicaid to pieces and basically toss 24 million Americans completely off of the health care rolls and increase costs and limit the availability of affordable care to millions more --- all in the zealous pursuit of handing yet more tax cuts, and by proxy ever more of this nation's wealth, to the people who fucking absolutely need it the very least, if at all.
Please go read this post by Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station blog. Here's an excerpt:
If you don’t have insurance, they don’t stop treating you.
How many times have you heard this?
You can always go to the emergency room if you have cancer.
They have to treat you, even if you can’t pay. Nobody goes without healthcare in America.
How many times? How many times have you heard that in this debate, in this endless shitfight about healthcare in America?
Yeah, listen, if you could get treated without insurance in this country, well, then we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place and, actually, they do stop treating you if you run out of money.
Yes, they do.
Some specialized gene-specific cancer drugs are $15,000 PER MONTH. Or more.In cases of aggressive cancers where all other therapies have failed, these drugs are the only options.
These drugs, they're difficult to develop.
They’re difficult to make.
They're difficult to get.
And they cost.
Now, we can argue about the ridiculous cost of drugs in this country (and I'm sure you all will in the comments), but that's not actually the point here.
The point is this: if you can't pay, you die.
Hell, you don't even have to get cancer. It doesn’t have to be $15,000. A couple of hundred bucks is the difference between life and death for many Americans.
If you're allergic to bees and you can't afford $300 for an Epipen, well, you'd better hope somebody comes along with a clean pocket knife and some idea of how to perform an emergency tracheotomy when your throat starts swelling closed.
If you can't pay, you die.
This idiotic idea, that everybody has access to healthcare, that you can just go to the emergency room for any kind of condition and be treated free of charge, is one of the most obviously wrong and most deliberately obtuse blind spots of modern conservatism – which not only rejects the idea of universal healthcare out of hand but also thinks your healthcare should involve their religion and your employer and that the insurance you've been paying for (if you're lucky enough to have insurance) should be able to drop coverage if you get sick.
"If you can't pay, you die." It's the price we pay for our "freedom" the conservatives and the Tea Partiers will mindlessly bleat to you.
The Gadfly would amend that statement though to say -- If you can't pay, you die -- after they've invoiced you in to complete and utter destitution."
Who among you dear readers out there has not had a family member or a friend who has experienced their economic livelihoods threatened by the astronomical costs of a catastrophic illness or injury either to themselves or a family member? If you haven't - consider yourself extremely fortunate and also consider yourself to be on borrowed time for at some future date the odds are it will eventually happen to yourself.
Hell - The Gadfly is one of these people. The Gadfly had a near-death experience with a motorcycle crash this past year and even though The Gadfly's injuries were thankfully not life-threatening and The Gadfly was gainfully employed, with an employer-sponsored health care "plan", he still ended up with a $24,000 bill for emergency room services that The Gadfly's health care "plan" and "provider" refused to cover. The Gadfly is now of course being hounded by bill collectors for this outrageous debt and will very possibly at some point in the next couple of years end up in bankruptcy court to have this debt discharged only because The Gadfly, like most people in this country doesn't have $24,000 in loose change lying around - and actually - by the time these fuckers tack on all of their interest, delinquency and other fees that debt will quite likely balloon to over $30k.
That's just one story. The Gadfly's mother is currently battling cancer - battling for her life. And on top of wondering if she is going to beat this terrible, awful disease, she is also deeply worried about the soon to be arriving tsunami of medical bills related to her life extending, possibly life-saving treatments. She's worried about paying bills --- and living --- what's wrong with that picture?? What's wrong with us?
In a truly decent, humane, and civilized nation - these scenarios would never happen - to any one of us, regardless of one's political or religious affiliation or economic status. It is a shame that our national behavior during this time in history on this subject will be an avaricious stain on this nation's collective conscience for a very, very long time to come.
But as it is, that's just how America rolls these days - we're a crooked country, run by crooked people, who are doing crooked and callous things to their fellow citizens and very few of us seem to care. It's sickening, it's inhumane and immoral and it has to end and if we don't end it, the inevitable outcome will not be good for any of us.
And lastly -- if you are one of these delusional fruit loops who believes that the man who is going to magically wave his gold-plated wand and make all of this despicable health care business better for Americans is the Tourette Syndrome afflicted orangutan currently doing Vladimir Putin's and the Russian oligarch's bidding while squatting in the American people's White House -- well then let's just say that you are a genuinely willing accomplice to the aforementioned crookedness and callousness and there isn't enough coal in the deepest bowels of this planet to stoke the flames in all of the brimstone and fire pits of the postmortem venue that your soul is destined for.