Saturday, November 12, 2016

My MS-related Thoughts on the Election :-(

I make it a point to never talk politics online, despite how often I want to and how much I've especially wanted to during this election cycle. I'm devastated by the results of this election for many reasons, but since this is an MS blog and since I have that self-imposed politics ban, I'll only touch on the MS-relevant reasons for my devastation. These reasons are the tip of the iceberg, but they are plenty big enough. If you can't take any more of this (I get it), you can skip this and just look at the pretty and politics-free pictures coming later today in the TWIML post. But if you are a loved one of mine who voted for Trump, I hope you'll read.

The new leader of the free world is someone who blatantly made fun of a disabled person (while the crowd laughed and cheered) and then tried to deny it. As someone who is at least disabled-adjacent and someone who is more tuned into that perspective than most, that is so very disheartening. But it should be just as disheartening to absolutely everyone. The pres-elect is also a man who claimed to have "donated" millions and millions of dollars to help the disabled, by which he meant he followed the freaking law by making his buildings accessible. By definition, there's nothing generous about that. Except he didn't even do that well or fully! There is a long list of times he's not followed the law and a long list of times he's been justifiably sued for it. There are 56 million Americans living with disability, but this issue should matter to every American.

The Affordable Care Act, I'm the first to recognize, is imperfect. In my opinion, much of its imperfection is rooted in the many compromises Obama was forced to make for it to pass. That said, I also believe that the ACA was one of the most important pieces of legislation ever. That it will likely be dismantled (or "replaced" by something much worse) I find to be so very disheartening. I've read different things about what the president-elect plans to do with Obamacare and, at this point, we have no way to predict anything since he's given us no reason to trust anything he says at all. On the pre-existing conditions thing, the initial report was that people with pre-existing conditions could get coverage under "high-risk pools" which sounds as terrible as it would be. After meeting with President Obama, however, the pres-elect is supposedly considering (probably really only because he would not be able to repeal them) keeping a few parts of the ACA, potentially including the protection for people with pre-existing conditions.  His statements, though, are in his typical non-committal language of choice. What will actually happen is still anybody's guess. And just saying that people with pre-existing conditions should be able to get insurance doesn't mean it will be affordable (which the ACA makes sure of) so for many of us with crazy-high health care costs (well over 125K/year for me) this is a terrifyingly precarious time.

Some articles I recommending reading:

If he does what he says he will do, it's likely that at least 20 million or so Americans will be, once again, without health insurance. That is not okay. For many of the rest of us, chances are the cost will go up. For the wealthy, there will be tax-free health savings accounts. So, as will be the norm under this guy, things are looking great for the rich and terrible for the rest of us. I hope I'm wrong.

Personally, my health insurance situation got worse under Obamacare. (Read: more expensive and sometimes truly not affordable for me, a clunky/cumbersome/broken system for applying/paying/etc., having to fight tooth-and-nail to have vital drugs covered, etc.) This is only because my state was the absolute leader for the whole country in providing high-coverage state-subsidized quality healthcare at low costs to those with low incomes and those most in need. Obamacare forced this perfect system to change, and it didn't go very well. Personally, I'd be okay with things going back to how things used to be, though I fear that beautiful state system won't be there anymore. But as a human being, thinking beyond just my own selfish wishes, I'm not okay with this overall. Overall, I'm horrified that so many other human beings think this is okay. (Again, tip of the iceberg!)

1 comment:

Traci said...

This is really well written and I agree with all of it the end. :(