By Jeff Simpson
Janesvilles own Paul Ryan (R - Wall St.), recently took over the role of Speaker of the House of Representatives, promised a new tone of civility within his party.
Imagine my surprise, when I read this story today:
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called on Wednesday for an end to Obamacare’s financial protections for people with serious medical conditions, saying these consumers should be placed in state high-risk pools.
In election-year remarks that could shed light on an expected Republican health care alternative, Ryan said existing federal policy that prevents insurers from charging sick people higher rates for health coverage has raised costs for healthy consumers while undermining choice and competition.
The rule, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, has been praised by patient advocates for providing access to medical care for people who previously could not afford private health insurance. The Affordable Care Act also bars insurers from excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions.
“Less than 10 percent of people under 65 are what we call people with pre-existing conditions, who are really kind of uninsurable,” Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told a student audience at Georgetown University.
I have never been shy about sharing my journey fighting Cancer publicly. It is a club I would rather not be in but, as Mr. Ryan speaks so much about choice, it is a choice I(and millions of others) did not have.
While Mr. Ryan speaks of "ONLY 10 percent", which is approximately 27,481,309 million Americans that he is referring to. A mass shooting is defined by four or more people being shot or killed, I hate to think what the needless death of 27.5 million Americans would be called.
Before I get accused of histrionics and hyperbole, I understand that allowing insurance companies to drop us "who are really kind of uninsurable," will not immediately kill all of us. It will immediately kill some of us, and eventually kill a vast majority of us.
I know personally, without the quality health insurance I have, I would have died a horrible painful death by now. There isn't a health savings account south of Janna Ryan's family Oklahoma oil money,that could even come close to putting a dent in the bills my medical issues have racked up.
Now Mr. Ryan, who is third in line from the Presidency of the United States, has decided it would be best if insurance companies would not have to cover me for a reasonable rate.
Let's take cancer for instance :
Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world and its incidence continues to rise. Each year 12.7 million people discover they have cancer and 7.6 million people die from the disease. However, evidence shows that 30 - 40 percent of these deaths can be prevented, and one-third can be cured through early diagnosis and treatment. That translates to 340,000 cases of cancer a year in the US alone that can be stopped or cured with early diagnosis and treatment.The only possible way to get early diagnosis and treatment is to have affordable health care and see your doctor regularly. Without health insurance or with a ridiculously high deductible, people will not go to the doctor and get treated. Nikolas Kristof of the New York Times gave us an incredible inside look of just this very instance that happened to a good friend of his. It is a tough but very important read.
But wait there is more! If an insurance company is allowed to drop you after a diagnosis, then you are stuck during the hardest time in your life(trust me it takes quite some time for the (you have cancer) news to truly sink in) calling around and pricing private insurance plans for the uninsurable.
One thing for me, and I am sure most others, is consistency in care. When you change or price insurance companies, you have to keep your doctors in mind. My case is so incredibly complicated, I have at one time or another, spent time with 8 different groups of surgical specialists. Can you imagine half way through treatment/diagnosis having to switch to another hospital and finding a whole new group of 8 different teams and get them up to speed while hoping that the insurance company I picked was not also planning on dropping me.
The stress on not just me, but my family, and wife and children was unbearable to begin with. When a family member gets an illness the whole family and friends get it also. Does Mr. Ryan also plan on allowing the insurance companies to drop my wife and kids also because I am expensive? If that is the case, the 27.5 million Americans starts to increase exponentially.
We know from experience and hindsight that many patients can not wait for treatment because of no insurance, shopping insurance companies or denial of services by the insurance company you have.
People have literally died because of this
Many people on both sides of the aisle, realize that Obamacare is not perfect. They realize that there are many different tweaks that need to be done to help insure all Americans. Almost all people realize that the one good thing we can agree on is that insurance companies can no longer drop people who get sick and actually have to use their insurance.
That is all but the most extreme of us. Paul Ryan is one of those people who are too extreme.
Are we a nation that wants people who are unfortunate enough to get a debilitating disease to die off quickly to cull the herd? Or are we a people that understands that "All (wo)Men Are Created Equal" and no diagnosis should be a death penalty?
I have been told many times that we have the government we deserve. Let us come to common ground and understand that I do not deserve to die because I happened to have cancer. I do not deserve to die a painful death early because I can no longer afford high risk insurance.
No one in Wisconsin deserves to have Paul Ryan represent them
It is time we retire Paul Ryan from Congress, for the sake of 27.5 million of your friends and neighbors and family members!