I grew up in predominantly Republican rural Pennsylvania. My Grandmother was Republican. There is even a newspaper article about my fourth great grandfather who, at 94 years of age, went over four miles to vote for Lincoln in 1864. I spent my teen years being a member of my church youth group and ushering each week during church services. The first day of deer season was a school holiday.
Despite Republican and conservative influences in my life, I do not vote Republican. One main reason is the consistent war that Republicans have waged on universal healthcare and health insurance.
Common sense says that we should all pay into a fund so when we do get sick there will be money to cover medical expenses. Modern, high-tech healthcare is expensive. Have a heart attack and you will spend a week in the hospital and rack up nearly $200,000 in expenses. Health insurance is society’s way to cover those expenses. We pay into a fund when we are healthy confident that there will be money available when sickness happens.
Under the affordable care act there is a mandate that everyone participate in insurance. If you chose to not participate in insurance, then you were assessed a tax. The tax was an incentive for purchasing insurance and helping to keep funding from drying up. After all, you can’t cover medical expenses, if there is no money coming in.
In 2017 Trump and the Republican Congress eliminated the tax if you don’t purchase health insurance. This means that those who are young and healthy can choose no insurance and be free of any consequences.
This is one example of how Republicans want to whittle away health insurance. The vast majority of Republican politicians say that they want to overturn the Affordable Care Act. However, the ACA also ensures that everyone can obtain insurance. Until the ACA it was legal for insurance companies to deny you coverage if they decided you were a health risk. The ACA requires that coverage be provided to everyone including those with preexisting conditions.
Ask a Republican politician about preexisting conditions and they will likely say that they, too, want to continue coverage for everyone. Ask them how they intend to ensure that insurance funds stay solvent without mandating coverage and they are silent.
Despite all the time that has passed since the ACA was first adopted, Republicans have never offered a way to pay for health insurance. If you don’t offer a way to pay for health insurance, then you can’t be serious about wanting to cover people including those with preexisting conditions. Eliminating the incentive for buying insurance simply whittles away the ability to keep insurance funded to cover the medical expenses of each of us when it comes our time to need help.
I think about that every time I see an ambulance taking someone to the emergency room. We need to work together and contribute together to ensure viable healthcare for everyone. But Republican politicians don’t want that.
And that is one of the main reasons I don’t vote Republican.