By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Surely we can do better than this
By Helen Taylor
Placeholder Image

Those who read my (now infrequent) columns are aware that I usually focus on encouragement and optimism.

At the moment, however, I am neither encouraged nor optimistic.

At the time this is written, the G20 Conference is meeting, North Korea is boasting about its successful launching and all sorts of investigations are underway.

Those headlines are not my subject: I am disturbed about Georgia's situation regarding healthcare.

If you read Tom Crawford's recent column (in this paper) on that subject, you saw statistics about the number of Georgians presently receiving Medicaid or who have health insurance through Affordable Care Act exchanges.

These were broken down by Congressional Districts.

You may remember that our state rejected the federal program that would have expanded Medicaid and accepted the AFC.

The estimated totals amount to almost a million Georgians who would probably become uninsured. And you and I know many of them.

Fortunately, I, personally, am not dependent on either of those, and for that I am grateful.

But I understand how devastating such cutbacks would be for many families that I know and love.

Suppose a loved one is in a nursing home through Medicaid, requires constant care, and can no longer be covered. What can that family do? They might choose to find a way to come up with the necessary funds or find someone to provide the care at home or just let the patient "waste away."

Any good choices?

It is true that some of those patients have very little quality of life, but most families do not willingly abandon their ailing loved ones.

There are many people who are on Medicaid, or who require financial aid, for healthcare to be able to live productive lives.

Some must work just to be able to provide healthcare for themselves or members of their family. You know some of those people, too.

I cannot believe that our governmental officials would deliberately create or support situations like those described above.

And, frankly, I do not find credible the explanations given by supporters of healthcare bills presently being considered.

Of course I am not an economic expert, but I certainly do not understand, or approve, the proposed method of financing those bills. If it is indeed to be done through a tax cut for the wealthy, that is even more cruel.

To me, the idea of some people receiving millions in annual income is close to being sinful -- or at least contrary to values held by the majority of Americans.

Athletes with contracts which guarantee an income of several million, CEO's whose bonus checks may exceed the lifetime income of the working poor, those who inherit wealth and property sufficient for several generations -- are they actually worth that much more than ordinary working citizens? How can one spend so much money? Why should they not pay their share in income taxes?

Obviously, I'm hoping the current healthcare bills under consideration do not become law, I hope that legislators can find a better way to lower insurance premiums and deductibles. We should attack whatever fraud exists, but we must not turn our backs on those who are most needy.

Surely there must be Americans intelligent and compassionate enough to find a solution to this complicated problem.