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America’s underside: Lack of compassion, concern

SUSAN K. SMITH | 5/15/2017, 12:21 a.m.
The GOP is pleased; it managed to jam through a health care bill that is bound for the Senate.
Susan K Smith

Crazy Faith Ministries

The GOP is pleased; it managed to jam through a health care bill that is bound for the Senate. Few of the representatives have read it, apparently. The talking heads are all saying the rehearsed lines about how this health care plan will cover everyone, that pre-existing conditions will be covered and that premiums will go down.

They expect the American public to eat their used-car-like pitches. Even not having read it, or having read it thoroughly, they know that this bill stands to push literally millions of people out of the possibility of getting health care. The insurance companies will benefit; they will earn a profit, which has been the goal all along. The American Legislative Exchange Council began as soon as the Affordable Care Act was passed to draft model bills designed to make sure the ACA failed. When politicians say the ACA is failing, they are really just bolstering and supporting the work of ALEC to make sure insurance companies got their due. The ACA interfered with the ultimate profit motive, and so it had to go.

The people – the health of the people – is not, and has never been, the issue.

So, the GOP drafted this bill, and although the salesmen are saying pre-existing conditions will be covered, it is clear that since so much power is put into the hands of the states, which will receive block grants to help the high-risk patients, that few people with pre-existing conditions will be able to get the health care they need and deserve.

The list of pre-existing conditions is mind-boggling. Included are asthma, acne, pregnancy, autism, depression, sleep apnea and menstrual irregularities. Before the ACA, pre-existing conditions including cancer, congestive heart failure, diabetes, pregnancy and multiple sclerosis were on the list. It seems likely that those ailments will again be included.

Unless I missed it, erectile dysfunction did not make the list.

Old people will suffer. The poor will suffer. Babies and children will suffer.

But the GOP lawmakers and the insurance companies will be just fine.

The lack of compassion and care on the part of these GOP lawmakers for the people who elected them is disheartening. It is inconceivable as to how people who say they believe in God could have even thought of such a dastardly bill, let alone pass it.

Some of the comments on the part of some of the lawmakers have been equally as disheartening, such as the statement by one lawmaker that in order to afford health care, some people would have to choose between having an iPhone or health care. Another lawmaker said that poor people really don ‘t want health care and said they do not take care of themselves.

It is not clear to me how a people becomes so callous, how they can and do so easily blame poor people for being poor, old people for being old and sick people for being sick – this while they enjoy the luxury of not having to worry if they will get the care they need when they need it.

Something is wrong with America, seriously wrong. Its underbelly is showing, and it covered with the slime of greed, arrogance, ignorance, racism, sexism and classism.

No nation can ultimately survive and thrive with such a dirty underbelly. Not even America.

Dr. Susan K Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries and a communications consultant for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference.