Letter writer: Speak up for affordable health care for all

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

A political divide slices right through Asheville, separating the city, county and region into Congressional Districts 10 and 11. We are currently “represented” by conservatives Patrick McHenry and Mark Meadows due to some gerrymandering a while back by the Republican-dominated state legislature.

Recently in a heavy-handed, cost-cutting move, McHenry and Meadows united in trying to replace the Affordable Care Act with a draconian plan that would have caused thousands of their constituents to lose health insurance coverage that they had gained under the ACA. Fortunately, the ill-conceived bill foundered and was withdrawn, but it may emerge from the ashes.

Hundreds of requests have been made of Meadows and McHenry to hold health care town meetings in their districts. But they continue to say that they will “hold them in August,” which, given the resurgence of citizen activism, is neglect of their duty to exchange views with citizens.

As the April 7-23 Congressional recess approaches, local groups are inviting our congressmen to open meetings: Our Revolution and Indivisible are sponsoring a “Medicare for All” Town Hall for Meadows’ 11th District constituents on the courthouse lawn in Waynesville Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. Rep. McHenry has not responded to formal requests for smaller meetings at his office in Black Mountain.

Republicans like McHenry and Meadows seemed willing to trade a $34 billion a year federal budget deficit reduction for cutting up to 24 million old, sick and poor citizens from the rolls of the properly insured. Meanwhile, the top 2 percent of wealthy Americans would have received $60 billion in tax cuts every year.

We cannot and should not allow this habitual conservative Republican “Reverse Robin Hood” disposition to continually shift more billions from the working class to the superrich. If enough of us speak up for affordable, universal health care for all hardworking Americans, perhaps Reps. McHenry, Meadows and the rest of Congress will enact a humane and fiscally responsible health care plan like single-payer Medicare for All.

— Frank L. Fox
Asheville

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4 thoughts on “Letter writer: Speak up for affordable health care for all

  1. Austin Hill

    The ACA has been a debacle for most people other than those who were uninsured. Millions of us were scammed into signing up only to lose our tax refund when the government wanted their subsidy back. Singe payer is fine so long as my taxes don’t go up to pay for all the consciously unhealthy people who are looking for a government handout to pay for their terrible diet and health decisions. I’m not sure why so many fellow Democrats want to sign up for that. The U.S. is 19 trillion in debt. Seems like a bad time to expand entitlements. Cause you know, we need $1 billion dollar bombers…..

    • The Real World

      Well said, Austin.

      I figure single-payer is in the cards at some point. But, I agree that the price tag to care for Americans is going to be quite different than for, say, Europeans……who, by and large, have a fraction of the obesity and much better diets than Americans. Costs will be high here and some personal incentives removed when single-payer comes about.

      What drives me nuts, in the internet age especially, is how many people don’t bother to find out what the downsides are when the Govt is handling this health care. That it is rationed, but the Feds/politicians won’t tell you that. And that can be a real problem in certain situations. Also, that you will be much better off if you buy a supplemental, private insurance policy when the Govt manages our health system. So much for “free” health care.

      There is a vast lack of understanding in America about how single-payer ACTUALLY works in other countries. The internet is your friend; use it.

      • luther blissett

        Rationing by personal wealth is still rationing. Read up on what Remote Area Medical does in places not far from Asheville. The internet is your friend: use it.

        It’s pretty remarkable that someone as conservative as Rep. Patrick McHenry accepts that the basic principles of the ACA can’t be tossed in the trash. The rest of the developed world spends around $5,000 per person per year on healthcare; the US spends nearly twice as much, and much of the difference goes to places like coding specialists and collections departments that ought not to exist.

  2. The Real World

    Another thing, whereas I am dubious that the Republicans will come up with some kind of exemplary replacement plan…..is there an ounce of humility from the Left about what a trainwreck the ACA has been, in a total sense?

    Anyone, anyone at all? A shred of humility?

    It was widely and substantially predicted that it would fail AND cost a mind-numbing amount of taxpayer money; it is and it does. It’s time to own it.

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