Obamacare supporters. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
26 January 17
Negligent homicide is the killing of another person through gross negligence or without malice.
here is no doubt that Obamacare is flawed. Something has to be done to control costs. There was a very effective cost-cutting provision in the original legislation. It was called the public option. Republicans and blue dog Democrats killed the public option, resulting in no incentive for the insurance industry to control costs.
Opponents of the public option declared that insurance companies would not have been able to compete with a government plan. They called it a backdoor to single payer. They were right, but that was a good thing. Insurance companies are not necessary. They are only a payee and make huge profits while providing nothing.
This is a personal issue for me. Obamacare saved my life, according to my doctor.
She was talking to a medical student who was observing my initial appointment. My doctor described the medical conditions that I had that had progressed over years of not being treated. She said I wouldn’t have lasted much longer.
I had gone at least a decade without seeing a doctor. I had an employer who was willing to help me pay for health care and provided health care when I lived in California. I moved to Northern Virginia to set up a DC Bureau. I was then on my own as far as finding a plan. I applied for several plans and received the same answer: Declined. The reason? Body type. I was 5’4” and weighed 210 lbs. Insurance companies wanted nothing to do with me. When I had insurance in California, I was borderline diabetic. When Obamacare finally went into effect, I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. I don’t know how many years that went untreated, but the next two conditions I had indicate that it was likely a long time. I also had congestive heart failure caused by kidney failure.
My doctor believes that if I hadn’t lost healthcare when I moved, diabetes would have been detected earlier and I would not have developed the kidney failure, therefore not developing the congestive heart failure. If I hadn’t gotten treated when I did, I might have died.
Obamacare saved my life and has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who were sick but for financial reasons not going to a doctor. The Republican Party is preparing to throw millions of people off their healthcare. Many people will die of conditions that could have been prevented if they were covered. That is why I believe they would be guilty of negligent homicide.
Instead of repealing Obamacare, we should take the next step toward universal healthcare and allow the federal exchange to negotiate a public option with healthcare providers. That public option would not have costs inflated by profit margins for insurance companies. The public option wouldn’t have costs built in for advertising, either.
I hear people all the time asking why healthy people have to buy in. The answer is simple: someone has to pay for the money insurance companies are losing on people like me. When today’s young healthy people get old and sick, the young people of that era will make up for the high cost of their health care.
In the end, it would be best to just increase taxes and give everyone public healthcare. That will not happen with Trump and Republicans in control of our government. They will instead throw millions of people off their healthcare, causing many to die unnecessarily. They know it, and that is why it is negligent homicide.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.