Since Obamacare was enacted, governors in 31 states plus the District of Columbia have opted to expand Medicaid through federal funding to 11 million low-income Americans.
Carol Hardaway, of Salisbury, MD, an was one such participant.
Although critics are claiming that CNN fed her the question via Gmail, she serves as a microcosm for many.
She states she has an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body. She said:
“I have Multiple Sclerosis but could not afford insurance – without the treatment or medications I need, I had problems with walking, with my speech, and my vision. When the Affordable Care Act was passed, I moved from our home state of Texas because they refused to expand Medicaid to Maryland. Within two weeks I started receiving treatments through Medicaid and am now well enough to work as a substitute teacher. Senator Cruz, can you promise me that you and the Republican leaders in Congress will actually have a replacement plan in place for people like me?”
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has more people in his state that are uninsured than any other, then congratulated her.
“Congratulations on dealing with MS,” said Cruz. “It’s a terrible disease and congratulations on your struggles for dealing with it.”
He then goes on to say the program that she moved to access is a “profoundly troubled program” and “it may be working well with you but nationally it’s poor.”
He advocates for private insurance of a participant’s choice. The problem is–people with pre-existing conditions—the same ones who need medical care are often denied the medical care they need.
“The medical outcomes … dental cover for moms are denied at a 67% rate on Medicaid and 4% on private insurance,” said Cruz. “Medicaid treatments are twice as likely to die from medical treatments than those with private health insurance. The solution for people who are hurting, I believe, should be to put as many people on private health insurance as possible … Medicaid outcomes are not working and people are suffering.”
He said people in Illinois are suffering with increased wait times. He said more than 700 people have died while on the waiting list. He wants competition so rates are low and people can afford it.
Bernie Sanders, whose has the second highest number of insured people in the country, summed it all up:
“Access doesn’t mean a damn thing!”
Sanders’ insisted on healthcare as a right and thus government funded. Sanders stated that we live in a country where the rich are becoming richer, while we have 40 million people in poverty and the middle class is in decline and that Obamacare created 15 million jobs in the private sector.
“These stories are obscene,” said Sanders. “They should not be taking place in the United States.”
What happens to Carol? If Republicans have their way:
“You want to talk about replacement plans. 1) Allow people to purchase across state lines, giving you more choice. Bernie said he opposes that. He doesn’t want to let you buy insurance in other states. 2) Expand health savings accounts so you can save in a tax advantage way to meet your own healthcare needs. 3) Make health insurance portable so that it goes with you job-to-job … one of the best solutions is to take health insurance and make it portable. That solves the problem of preexisting medical conditions. When you lose your job you don’t lose your car insurance or your life insurance or your house insurance. There’s no reason to lose your health insurance. It’s portable … it’s affordable … and you have choices.”
If Sanders has his way: it’s a basic human right and you have to give it to people.
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