“For the first time in a long time, America has an administration that’s filled from top to bottom with defenders of life.”
In light of the GOP healthcare plan that has just passed in Congress, this quote from Vice President Pence is the epitome of hypocrisy. As the party that has touted themselves as the pro-life party, and likely won the election due to that stance, this truly is laughable.
The sanctity of life appears to only matter before birth. With this current healthcare bill, protections for pre-existing conditions, mental health, maternity care and addiction services are now gone, along with a myriad of others. This will affect all of us at some point, in more ways than we can imagine. The first ones to take the hit will be the least among us. The poor, the elderly, minorities, poor and low-income women, the disabled, and children. The proposed cuts to Medicaid will catastrophically affect care and education for the disabled. This is not pro-life.
I want to tell you a story…
In early 2013, I noticed a mass in my daughter’s pelvic area. Thinking it was probably a hernia, our pediatrician sent us for an MRI. It turned out not to be a hernia, but a benign, fatty tumor called a lypoma. In April of that same year it was removed. If it had not been for the insurance coverage provided by Medicaid, we would most likely still be paying for the costs associated with this.
Fast forward to last year…another tumor was found, this time in her abdomen. Only because of a trip to the ER for what we thought was an appendicitis. This one required major surgery and a hospital stay. It is the same type of tumor as before, and thankfully again, benign. But this tumor, located deep in the back of her abdomen can’t be fully resected because of the way it is entwined in her mesentery. So now, we have to deal with chronic pain and possible future surgeries. The only way to ‘cure’ her would be to remove the mesentery, which would bring about a host of different and much more medically complicated symptomalogy.
My daughter is 12 and has a pre-existing condition which could, in the future, qualify her as uninsurable, and at the very least, price her out of insurance coverage. It is a very real possibility that we will, at some point, be faced with making the choice between paying out of pocket for our daughter to have needed and necessary medical care, or paying living expenses.
There are countless other families facing the same, or more dire futures, in light of this bill. God forbid anyone find themselves in a position to have to watch a loved one die because care is unaffordable. For some, this could become a horrific reality.
This is why it pisses me off to see Congressmen say, “People who lead good lives” don’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions. And at others who voted for a bill they never actually read, or weren’t patient enough to wait 2 weeks for an updated CBO score in order to get an idea of how this bill would impact coverage and cost for others like my daughter. After 8 years of disdain for the current healthcare system, and all that time to actually come up with a decent plan, would 2 more weeks really matter?
I’ll answer that for you. It wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference. It simply reinforces the fact that all this administration cares about is dismantling any and everything the previous administration put into place, with no regard for the consequences.
My daughter’s life means more than that.
The pro-life party, a group of wealthy, mostly white, older men, stood in The Rose Garden slapping each other on the backs in congratulations, while simultaneously giving the least of these the middle finger. How is this pro-life? How do we as Christians, stand by and think this in any way, makes us great? Or Christian?
“For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”
Matthew 25:42-43, 45