- - Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a total disaster, but when it comes to health care both parties would do well to keep the American working class in mind. From what I have seen in my experience working in human services, those who are legitimately down on their luck and truly need health care do not receive it. Obamacare essentially provides coverage for the healthy. However, this coverage is unaffordable for those most vulnerable, and contributes to the dissolution of American families.

Serving those in need as a Medicaid specialist throughout the 1990s, I often saw this happen. Parents of children with significant disabilities separated in order to lower household income so that a child could qualify for Medicaid. It was also common to see the elderly and people with disabilities having to choose between paying for food and paying for life-saving medication. This is an appalling travesty.

As a conservative Christian, the lack of truly affordable care runs contrary to a scriptural imperative to provide care for the most vulnerable and infirm among us (i.e., Matthew 25: 34-45). Obamacare creates an additional financial incentive to abort an unborn child facing disability and costly long-term care. This, too, goes against Christian principles. Obamacare also leaves major life-and-death decisions to the individual states to “opt out” of full coverage for certain pre-existing health conditions. Why does it have to be this way?

Individual states do not always make sound choices (i.e., slavery, Jim Crow laws, eugenics laws). When it comes to health care, is it best for all residents if state government returns to the control of one political party?

This year, ll Virginia political candidates need to answer one question: Will the commonwealth “opt out” if current provisions of Obamacare remain in the American Health Care Act when it is passed by the Senate? There is no question that health-care legislation needs a complete overhaul. Virginia should lead the way.

PHIL THEISEN

Forest, Va.

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