Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Republican Problems

(I'm thinking of tightening and polishing this up to send to the Party headquarters and newspapers. Or maybe I'll send it as is and let the editors do their work...)

Local republicans have demonstrated a deplorable lack of knowledge, interest, and compassion for my young adult son's recent near-dire healthcare crisis and his mother's (this writer) subsequent questioning about the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare), medicaid, and our state's budget:

Mike Dunleavy's office ignored two letters.

Wes Keller's office ignored one letter, and when I called (Oh yes, here's your letter; sorry I didn't respond, I'm just swamped.), contradicted me about the state of my own son's health while intoning off telephone numbers for insurance and disability offices (He's not at all disabled.). And reminding me that it's all Obama's fault. And the democrats.

Mead Treadwell's office had a strange response to my letter. The answer did not fit my message, as if someone cut and pasted "Answer B" without actually reading. When I wrote again to clarify, no further response.

Sean Parnell's office only returned my letter with a telephone call because, as his staff admitted to me, several of my friends called and wrote to complain about their silence toward me. His office told me to try a non-profit foundation.

I voted for all four of these politicians and said so in my correspondence. Not one person told me that it's illegal for a designated children's medicaid program (Denali Kid Care) to allow anyone over eighteen years of age on their roles (my initial question when the Marketplace plan wasn't working.). I learned this because I kept calling, writing, and asking. A manager with the division of public assistance in Juneau told me. Did they not know? That's a problem. Did they not really hear or read my words? That's a problem.

When I then asked about redirecting some of our own state money towards a modest medicaid expansion (not federal dollars), I got "Mm hm. OK, Interesting" and other non-answers. Not one person told me that the governor has a task force for medicaid reform that is right now researching these issues for presentation to him in November. Did they not know? That's a problem. Did they not really hear or read my words? That's a problem.

I get the distinct impression that these people, these tax-paid employees, want to see Rees and others with chronic conditions who are just a little poor suffer and decline because it feeds their "Obama and the democrats and the ACA are bad. Vote for us." agenda.

But I kept calling and talking. I talked to Mrs. Devries of the Valley Republican Women's Club (not even a paid state employee). She's the one who informed me of the governor's task force, of state representative Neuman and his staff member Tilton who is spearheading the research, and her telephone number. So I called and we spoke for almost an hour. I laid the whole story and my ideas and questions in her lap. Now we wait. And call out "my" republicans for their wretched indifference. Or ignorance.

Simultaneously, a dear friend, as close to feeling my anger, fear, and helplessness as one could be without being me, called state senator Wielechowski (a democrat, yikes). He called me personally. Here's what I'm doing to help people like you and your son. The he decided to call US senator Begich (a democrat, yikes). His aide called me personally. The senator can use his big stick. He wants Rees' plan to work. He can and will help.

At this point, I don't care if the senator should even have a big stick or if it's immoral to use state and federal money for Rees' medications (Our Christian friends in Australia don't have these arguments.). My kid needs these expensive, preventative drugs to live well and the ACA delivers that now. And we're calling the democrats if we need help.

Maybe the ACA should be repealed.
Maybe Congress should keep the ACA but defund stupid programs to keep up Americans' good health.
Maybe for-profit insurance companies with people's lives in their pockets should be reined in, selling some medicines and therapies that aren't even health care like contraception, massages, and sex change surgeries while denying a $100 bottle of vitamin K ("We don't cover vitamins." Never mind that the high dose would poison folks without CF.) and handing executives hundreds of thousands of dollars for salaries. Kind of like plumb state positions that make 2-300K annual salaries from state money but not moving any money around for better health coverage.

I wonder how many other former, solid voters republicans have lost because of their own stories like ours? I love our platform but I'm currently a political mess. So c'mon "my" republicans; talk me through this. Convince me to continue voting for you. Yours is a business of people ~ public servants ~ and I'm technically still "yours." For now.

(Post #2)

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