I have a friend you recently moved from a state where Medicaid had been expanded where my friend was able to get health insurance coverage. But in Florida, where Medicaid was not expanded, it was a different matter. Now my friend, who is only able to work part time due to physical limitations, is faced with the reality that health insurance here will cost in excess of eight hundred dollars a month. My friend is caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. To qualify for the reduced rates of the Affordable Care Act my friend would need to be earning at least thirteen thousand dollars a year. The part time work she performs pays a fairly decent wage--but at sixteen hours a week my friend will only make eight hundred dollars a month--before taxes. Obviously none of this adds up.
There is little question that the Affordable Care Act has made it possible for millions to get health insurance who otherwise would have none. But it is not a cure all, and some folks still fall between the cracks. Simply repealing it would have a devastating impact on those millions of folks. But not shoring it up, repairing it, fixing it, will leave others still uninsured. Action does need to be taken--but this will require more than a scalpel!
The Beatles had a song I always loved, called "Come Together"--maybe it is time our representatives in Washington did just that. I firmly believe this complex issue needs to be addressed cooperatively. I believe it is time Democrats, Republicans and Independents set aside the partisan bickering, and the intrapartisan bickering, and come together to truly serve the people they represent. Everyone needs good healthcare. Everyone needs to be insured. It is obviously good for us as individuals to have health insurance, but it is also good for us as a society. Healthy individuals mean a healthy society. And a healthy society means a healthy America.
I believe all this because it makes sense, and also, because Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Let's stop the name calling. Let's stop the bickering. Let's stop the blame game. And let's come together. Right now. For the sake of my friend. For the sake of millions of other uninsured Americans. For the sake of the nation.