Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Senate's Revised Health Bill Announced Today Throws America's Cancer Patients Under The Bus

Remember when Republican Senators were known for being more moderate, more civilized, more sane than their counterparts in the House of Representatives? Well, it's evidently time to throw that notion out with the trash.

In an effort to come up with a better health bill, the 52 Senate Republicans have been huddling secretly for weeks, without seeking input from the American people or from their 48 Senate Democratic colleagues.

Today, they've announced the results of their labor. And it's both laughable and sad. 

While turtle-like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured above in all his joyless glory) has thrown a few mostly meatless bones into the bill in an effort to quell unrest over the Senate's first wildly unpopular attempt at creating new and better healthcare, the revised bill is in some ways even worse than what they had. 

If passed, this bill would profoundly weaken the ability of millions and millions of cancer patients, survivors and people who are at risk of getting cancer to receive decent, affordable health insurance. 

It doesn't get any simpler than that, folks. This bill is immoral. And it's unworkable. It is a bad joke, especially for people like me who are self-employed, and have cancer. 

Chris Hansen, president of the Cancer Action Network, the nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, summed it up succinctly this morning.

“The latest proposed changes to the Senate health care bill would make access to health coverage worse for those with pre-existing conditions like cancer," Hanson said. "The reluctance by senators to include patient feedback and other relevant stakeholder perspectives in the process is preventing the development of a reasonable, bipartisan consensus that could improve the law and pass the Senate."

Obviously, the American Cancer Society is not some left-wing fringe group. If ACS is this adamantly against it, then you know it really sucks.

Obamacare does need fixing. But with this? Can you hear me laughing? Who are these Capitol clowns? Have they no shame? No decency? No clue? Those are of course three mostly rhetorical questions. 

Do they really think that we Americans will somehow just not notice what they're doing, which is giving the wealthiest Americans huge tax breaks, and sticking it to the rest of us? Have they no family members or friends who have cancer?

If this bill passes, which is thankfully still unlikely, it would leave America's cancer patients and those with pre-existing conditions paying more money for less coverage. 

Which part of that do these lousy legislators not understand? This bill would reverse the progress that has been made in providing affordable, adequate and meaningful health insurance coverage to all Americans.

Hanson noted that allowing insurance companies to sell these so-called bare-bones, tax-credit eligible, catastrophic plans would create a "segmented insurance market" and essentially return cancer patients, survivors and anyone with a serious illness to an underfunded high-risk pool where a patients’ out-of-pocket costs could be unaffordable and coverage potentially inadequate.

“The bill’s ‘stability funds’ to supplement these markets would fall woefully short and leave many patients unable to access, afford or maintain critical health coverage," Hanson said. "This would be compounded by significant Medicaid cuts that would take away coverage from the working poor and the nation’s most vulnerable and would result in a patchwork system in which where you live may determine if you live."

Enough is enough with these jerks in DC. If you or someone you care about has cancer -- and that's just about everyone -- I'm asking you to please vocally reject this bill. Call your Senator. Today. Right now. Tell him or her you've had enough.

I am asking everyone who reads this to call or email your Senator to reject this legislation and insist that pols in Washington come up with a health bill that improves coverage for cancer patients, and makes it more affordable for patients, survivors and all those at risk for getting cancer.

Here's the main number for the United States Senate: 

Just ask for your Senator.

Do it.



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