I’m terrified of losing my healthcare.

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I’m freaking out right now.   The GOP is going after ACA (Obamacare) AGAIN.

This time, some federal judge in Texas (whose actual name is Reed O’Connor, though that hasn’t been widely reported) said the law is unconstitutional and therefore needs to be repealed.

There was a detailed article about this from the New York Times.  I had it linked here but the link no longer works so I removed it.  I’m too disgusted and angry to try to explain why this judge thinks the ACA is unconstitutional and don’t really understand his logic.  I think it’s all bullshit, frankly — just another way the GOP can try to strip healthcare away from 20 million Americans and ratf*ck the sick, poor and elderly.

I happen to be one of those Americans who will be affected should this cruel law be upheld (I have heard it will probably be appealed and not be upheld, but I’m not getting my hopes up).   The ACA is the only way I can afford health insurance.  I’m way too old to risk not having health insurance (though I’m fairly healthy, I know I won’t always be), and I’m still too young for Medicare.  The way they keep raising the age for eligibility (they want to raise it to 70, I believe right now it’s 67),  I may never be “old” enough to get it.

This predatory regime wants the elderly poor and working class dead.   I’m convinced of that.  All their actions and their lack of empathy and general cruelty makes it obvious.   Once we’re too old or too sick to make money for the oligarchs and corporations, we’re just “useless eaters” (using one of the GOP’s actual terms for us).  Taking away our healthcare is a sneaky way to kill us off when we lose our usefulness to them.

Hopefully the new Democratic Congress, headed by Nancy Pelosi (I’m very happy she will be the Speaker) can work out something that will allow us to keep our healthcare, or maybe even work with the less partisan Republicans (do they exist anymore?) to come up with something even better than the ACA.

More people than ever, even some Republicans, are demanding Medicare For All (single payer healthcare, like other developed countries have).  Maybe one day that will actually become a reality and we can stop worrying about dying or going bankrupt should we become sick or disabled.   At my age, it’s a very real worry, and right now, I’m absolutely terrified that I could lose my ACA with nothing to replace it.    I do not have a job that offers health insurance, I’m not married so no one is paying for me to be on their plan, and there’s no way I can afford the premiums on my own without the ACA.

Certain things should not be privatized or not at least have a public option (such as education).  Healthcare is one of those things.    Some things are necessities that benefit the common good and should be paid through our taxes, meaning that We, the People own these things, not private shareholders and individuals.  Those things include national parks and monuments, fire and police, education (though private schools should and can be available as well), the post office, healthcare, the military, and prisons.  Privatizing these things (or not having a public option for them) leads to nothing but further inequality and fascism.

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32 million Americans’ healthcare rests on one vote!

Whether or not 32 million Americans lose healthcare through the ACA (Obamacare) or get to keep it now depends on one vote : Lisa Murkowski’s.    Senator John McCain has stated he “cannot in good conscience vote for this bill,” in spite of the fact he is friends with Lindsey Graham, one of the authors of the Graham-Cassidy bill.   He has proved to me he is a man of integrity by his refusal to cave to politics over people.

But, as you probably know, Murkowski is being bribed by the GOP and Mitch McConnell. They told her if she voted yes on the bill, that HER state of Alaska would get to keep Obamacare (which means they know it works better than their plan).

While I think Murkowski has a conscience and won’t fall prey to their bribery and will do the right thing, I’m not sure of this. She hasn’t stated how she will vote.

So we all need to CALL HER OFFICE AND TELL HER TO VOTE NO ON GRAHAM CASSIDY!  Make sure you thank her for voting no the last time and remind her that she did the right thing by doing that. 

You can call her at 202-224-6665.  WE NEED HER NO VOTE!

Please save our healthcare!

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The GOP is at it again.  Like Michael Myers, it just keeps rising from the dead.

Yes, they’re trying to ram through a new version of Trumpcare — and this one’s even crueler than the previous two  — an estimated 32 million people would lose healthcare.  Insurers would be allowed to refuse to insure you for pre-existing conditions (a previous pregnancy would be considered a pre-existing condition, meaning most women would be affected).  Like the first bill, premiums would go up exponentially for older people.   It also eliminates the Medicaid expansion.   And Planned Parenthood.   It discriminates against women, especially older women like myself who are not old enough for Medicare.  It punishes the poor and middle class.  If you’re not wealthy and develop a serious illness like cancer, it will be your death sentence.

This is the worst bill yet, and they are very close to passing it.  All so Trump can have his WIN and they can get their tax breaks.  At our expense.  They are relentless.  They must be stopped.

They have until September 30th to pass it, but if it passes, the ACA (Obamacare) will be gone forever.   If they lose, the ACA stays indefinitely (until something better, like single payer, comes along).

I HATE that we have to beg our own government not to kill us, but unfortunately this is what we must do.    Jam the phone lines!  Please!   It’s literally a matter of life and death for millions of people.

We need all hands on deck over the next few days. Call your reps & tell them to vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy bill: (202) 224–3121.

Also, please share this post.

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Oh no, here we go again.

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Like the Terminator or the zombies from Night of the Living Dead, Trumpcare just refuses to die.

That’s right.  Not two days have passed since their repeal bill was killed in the Senate, and already these criminals and grifters who have hijacked the GOP are attempting to revive their Frankenstein monster of a healthcare bill.

You can read all about it here:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/7/29/1685291/-Politico-Senate-Republicans-to-make-another-attempt-at-Obamacare-repeal

I can think of at least 12 reasons why they want to keep reviving this monster in spite of its vast unpopularity, even among members of their own party.

Why do they keep trying to revive Trumpcare?

  1. They NEED those tax breaks NOW and won’t stop until they get them.
  2. They really are trying to thin the herd.
  3. Donnie just HAS to have his WIN or else.
  4. It’s a form of mental torture intended to exhaust the resistance into submission and apathy.
  5. They are masochists trying to destroy their own party.
  6. They are sadists who like to watch people suffer (from preventable illness) and insanity (from their relentless reviving of this bill)
  7. They are ordained by God because they are the Elect and this is going to be a Christian nation so if you’re not rich like them or you’re sick it’s their holy duty to take away your healthcare.
  8. They really do think their plan will be help more people (yeah, right)
  9. They believe in more “freedom” and “choice” (the freedom to die or go bankrupt; the “choice” argument is bogus)
  10. They are being pressured to pay off their donors (through tax breaks)
  11. Trump is desperately trying to distract from the Russian investigation and besides causing constant drama and chaos among his staff, this is the easiest way to do it.   He’s not very creative.
  12. It’s actually a stealth attempt to force us to adopt single-payer (nahhhh…although that could be the end result).

They are relentless.  Please make it stop.

Save our healthcare!

Republicans are taking advantage of all the media attention on Russia right now to secretly ram through their abomination of a healthcare bill that will leave millions — me included — without health insurance.     They are doing this without anyone knowing what’s in the bill, because they know it’s so horrible it will never fly if people knew what was in it.    It’s not a healthcare bill.  It’s a thinly disguised tax break for the wealthy. 
Well, guess what.  If I have to go to the hospital, I refuse to pay my medical bills.    I am not kidding.   I’ll send ’em all to the White House.   
In the meantime, until these compassionless sociopaths who will blithely let people die on the streets (and blame them for “not living a good life”) are defeated, PLEASE help save the ACA:
IMPORTANT: Please copy and paste. If you share, fewer people will see your post.
In reference to the Senate Republicans lack of public debate or information on their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare”:
After hearing about the midnight repeal of the pre-existing conditions clause, people have flooded Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office with calls, as well as Speakers Ryan and McConnell. Sen Warren’s staff say that what would help THE MOST is calling the 5 Republican senators who have broken away from the GOP in an attempt to slow down of the repeal. Tell them how much you appreciate their efforts:
Senator Bob Corker – (202) 224-3344
Senator Lisa Murkowski – (202) 224-6665
Senator Rob Portman – (202) 224-3353
Senator Susan Collins – (202) 224-2523
Senator Bill Cassidy – (202) 224-5824

Trump supporters are enraged!

I never visited the alt-right website Breitbart News before, but something told me to click it on today and see what they are saying.

Was I in for a shock!  The first article I saw was about how terrible Trump’s healthcare replacement package is.   Almost 9,000 comments and almost every one is ripping Trump and Ryan to shreds.

7 Reasons Why Obamacare 2.0 Is All But Guaranteed to Impose Crushing Costs on Voters, Hurt Trump’s Base, And Hand Power Back to the Democrats

Breitbart May Have Just Killed Trumpcare (New York Magazine)

When you really think about it though, it shouldn’t be that shocking. No one, not even the far right, wants to see Grandma shoved under the bus and her healthcare taken away.     Remember, the Tea Party was never a friend to the corporate elite.  Red state voters and conservatives really believed Trump would deliver on his promises to make healthcare more affordable, and they compose his base of supporters.    So, it looks like they are finally waking up from their denial and realizing this was a massive bait and switch operation and they made a terrible mistake.   When it comes to healthcare, they realize their own lives and those they love could be at stake.

Let’s face it. Neither party has served the interests or needs of the American people for a very long time. Every 4 or 8 years we get one side or the other in charge.   The problem with the Democratic Party is it has tried to serve two masters — the people AND the corporate elite.    That doesn’t work.  It never has and never will.    While Obamacare was an improvement over what we had before that (nothing), it’s not nearly enough.   Some of these former Trump supporters on Breitbart are actually demanding single payer healthcare!   Yes, they actually believed that’s what Trump meant when he promised to cover every American.

Now I understand why the Tea Party types never seemed too opposed to a far left candidate like Bernie Sanders.  What both the alt-right and Sanders supporters have in common is that both are fed up with the current establishment parties as they stand now, both of which only serve the corporate elite.   Although I think Obama’s heart was in the right place, he tried too hard to please both the people and the monied interests (the insurance companies).     The middlemen need to get out of healthcare, and some on the right are beginning to understand this.  The far left always did.

Even in the face of this blowup on Breitbart,  Trump and Ryan are STILL trying to shove their awful plan down our throats. Surely they must know how many middle class and poor conservatives are mad as hell and have turned against them since the rollout.

I think this might be the starting point for change, if the right and the left can both use the healthcare crisis as a starting point for some new conversations and some real solutions.

Rally for ACA (Obamacare), Asheville, NC

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This event, which was really an outdoor Town Hall meeting, focused on the right to affordable or better yet, single payer healthcare and the importance of not repealing Obamacare, since the ACA was an important step in that direction — and now it’s under threat.

I arrived early, so early there were only a few people there before me.  The day was cooler than it has been, but clear as a bell, as you can see in the photos.  It was fun taking pictures of all the different sights I saw.  Some of the protest signs were really creative.

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I apologize — the tops of her signs got cut off but I think her shirt is a hoot.

I would say probably about 400 people attended, and maybe a few more than that.   Most of the people attending were older folks — some older than me (Medicare age), which makes sense since older people are the most likely to have medical issues and the most at risk should they lose their healthcare.   There were some young families there too though, and a couple of the speakers were quite young.

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I was surprised how many people brought their dogs, and one woman, wearing a “pink pussy hat” had dressed up her little dog in an adorable miniature version of the hat she wore.   The sign she had made was pretty funny too.

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Not everyone there was a Democrat. There were some independents, and even a few stray Republicans, who agree that ACA should not be repealed, like the sign of the lady shown below. When it comes to affordable healthcare, party really doesn’t matter. Some actually understand that.

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Some of the signs were quite funny.  Here are a couple.

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There were four speakers.  One speaker’s story brought tears to my eyes.  She talked about her son, who was born in 1974. Doctors urged her to have an abortion because he had some genetic abnormalities but she refused.   Well, the condition he had left him extremely vulnerable to certain forms of cancer, especially colon cancer.   In 2008, just before Obama was elected, when he was just 34, he had to be rushed to the emergency room.  He hadn’t been seeing doctors regularly  because they didn’t have the money and he could not get health insurance because of his pre-existing condition.  He was too sick to work enough hours to get company sponsored health insurance so he never got the surgeries and other treatments that had been recommended.   So he just did without.

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One of the young volunteers.

On the day he was rushed to the ER, some tests were run, and it was found he had developed inoperable colon cancer. He died just before Christmas in 2008, just after Obama was elected, but before Obamacare was a reality.  It was too late for him.

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The woman, who was now in tears, concluded her story by saying that no politician who says “No” to the ACA or who wants to repeal it has the right to call themselves pro-life.  Life doesn’t stop at the end of the birth canal.    Being pro-life means caring for people of ALL ages — and making sure everyone has affordable health care. No exceptions.

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These are the kind of tragic personal stories that used to happen on a regular basis before the ACA was passed.  People dying prematurely and unnecessarily, and sometimes suffering horribly — just because they couldn’t get health insurance and weren’t wealthy enough to pay for treatments out of pocket.    And now our “dear leader” wants to roll back not only that but is also threatening social security, Medicaid, Medicare, and even Veteran’s benefits.   Can you imagine how horrible things would be if they were to succeed in taking all that away?   We can’t allow that.

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I took lots of pictures — the rest are below this post. I didn’t have a sign this time, but next time I will make sure I do.  It was a good experience, and was very peaceful. In spite of the serious issue being addressed, it was a lot of fun too.

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On my way out, there was a vendor selling related merchandise, such as T-shirts and buttons.   The proceeds go to the Indivisible movement, which co-sponsored this event.   These are my purchases (I’ll  be wearing these at the next event I attend — and carrying a sign too).  The button in the middle was free — it was given to me when I signed up for emails.

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The rest of the photos:

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I finally signed up for Obamacare, was pleasantly surprised, but now Trump and his band of goons wants to repeal it.

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WARNING: RANT AHEAD.

Last year I didn’t sign up for Obamacare because I didn’t think I qualified based on my income being so low, and North Carolina is one of the states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid to low income people.  But that’s only part of the reason I didn’t sign up in 2016.  I also just felt triggered, irritated, and emotionally overwhelmed by the whole process, and frankly, I’m also morally opposed to the fact we as a nation do not have single payer healthcare like every other freaking industrialized country.  So I guess there was also an element of rebellion in my refusal to sign up, which is stupid, because what would have happened if I got sick or in an accident?   I was lucky I did not.   I already knew a year ago I’d have to pay the $695 fine when I do the 2016 tax returns, but I assumed it would cost me a whole lot more to get Obamacare, if I even qualified at all.   After all, it seemed like everyone was whining about how expensive Obamacare is, but it’s mostly people who hate Obama (I’m not one of them –but I’m starting to really appreciate him now, knowing the Ooompa Loompa is taking over in 3 days.)

So anyway, back to my health insurance saga.  I make a little more money now than I did a year ago, due to being promoted to a semi-supervisory position a few months ago (and being up to my ears in work).  I just wanted the whole health insurance thing to go away and acted like it would if I just did nothing at all.  I  just didn’t want to deal with it, but in the back of my mind, I knew that the penalty for 2017 would be close to $2,000 if I didn’t sign up.  I also knew I was living on borrowed time, because inevitably the day will come when I will need medical care and not just a first aid kit or an aspirin. But I kept procrastinating because I just didn’t want to deal with the unpleasantness.

Today I got a letter in the mail reminding me to sign up by January 31 if I didn’t want to pay that ridiculous fine for 2017.   Personally,  I think it’s outrageous that people are being fined for not opting to line the health insurance companies’ coffers, especially if their states haven’t expanded Medicaid to low income people, but what are you going to do? You have to do something, even if it makes you feel like throwing up in your mouth.    Why does America think “the market” is so damn wonderful anyway?   I think corporations are just as, if not more corrupt than the “big bad government.”   Their ONLY reason for existing is for profit. In my opinion, healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and every American should have access to it and not have to pay some insurance company.    But no one complains about corporate America, they only complain about “the government.”

So anyway, back to the letter I got.   After reading it, I said to myself, what the hell, might as well sign up right now and get it over with, since I have to do it anyway.  Why put off the inevitable?  There were a lot of questions to answer but it turned out I am eligible for Obamacare and get most of it paid for!  My premiums will be only $29 a month!.  Maybe I had it all wrong and could have done the same last year and avoided the $695 fine.  I also feel better knowing I have health insurance now, even if it’s not the greatest plan in the world.   Now I can stop worrying about what I will do should I become sick or have to go in the hospital.  Not having insurance at my age is playing with fire, and I’ve been all too aware of that, and tried to ignore it.    Now I can cross that off my list of worries.   For now.

Because here is what really sucks.   Now that I’ve finally signed up, Trump and his band of goons are talking about repealing Obamacare.   Now that I finally have it, I’m afraid I’m going to lose it.   If I do lose it, will people still be required to pay fines for not having health insurance?  I know there’s no way I could ever afford the premiums without the generous tax credit Obamacare gives me.  The idea of fining low income people for not having the money for the full price of health care (especially now that most companies no longer offer health insurance to their low-wage slaves) makes me feel sick to my stomach.   It would be appallingly unfair if that actually happened,  but I wouldn’t put something like that past this godawful, compassionless, immoral administration.

I’m worried about something else too.  Paul Ryan, who is a “Christian” (Catholic) Ayn Rand devotee (how is it even possible to be both?) wants to privatize social security.  Oh, no, we can’t have that!  It helps people!  It has to go away because “it’s an entitlement.”

EARTH TO PAUL RYAN:  IT’S NOT A FREAKING ENTITLEMENT!   I paid into it since 1976!    I’m really worried that as I enter my later years, which isn’t that many years from now, that all the money I’ve paid into social security for FORTY-ONE YEARS will be for nothing, and older folks like me who don’t have savings, investments, and 401Ks (because we never made enough money to have those things) who had counted on social security to be there for us when we finally were too old or weak or sick to work anymore,  will just have to just keep on working until we drop dead, or become a burden on our grown children, who will be forced to support us.

There’s also talk about privatizing Medicare.    If either of these programs the previous three generations enjoyed and that (until recently) seemed immune from being tampered with by Stupid Party, get the plug pulled on them (which “privatizing” essentially means), there’s going to be a whole lot of really angry and frightened people.  WHAT IS THIS?    LOGAN’S RUN?  Or even…SOYLENT GREEN!  (That 1973 movie about a dystopian future sounds a LOT like what’s starting to happen here, and the year it takes place in? 2022! Only 5 more years!)

Why not just off everyone too old to work.  Riiight, let’s just let the old and the sick DIE OFF.  They don’t contribute anything anyway!  They’re not PRODUCTIVE! Who cares if they SUFFER?

I think if Obamacare is repealed or especially if Medicaid and social security are privatized, there will be civil war.   Hell, maybe a civil war or a mass uprising is what needs to happen so people stop being sheep and keep voting for people who don’t represent their best interests.    The squinty eyed fat man with NPD and his pack of sociopathic stooges really have me scared.   I’m  getting reeeeally close to hating this country and wishing I could just leave.  America, the nation that promised so much and  that everyone used to want to live in, is turning into a third world country.   What’s happening here is the way third world countries are run.  Why’s Trump so worried about our borders?   Who will want to come here?

Am I the only one who feels like that?

Anyway, I have health insurance.  Finally.  For now.