Arizona has its own health care system, AHCCCS, that is supposed to either take the place of or be supplemental to Medicare. I’m not actually sure what the rationale was for setting it up lo these many years ago, and it seems a little odd just from an economy-of-scale perspective. Medicare has to have more buying power than that obtainable from one single state, particularly a state that’s hell-bent on cutting taxes to the point that legislators end up paying for the privilege of making laws.*
Evidently there’s been a health program here, Arizona KidsCare, that’s been meeting some of the needs of families in bad situations; and there’s an extension of that program for parents — really a good idea, since if the parents are in poor health, they can’t work, and since it’s safe to assume they’re at minimum wage and probably uninsured, that’s a serious issue — but the program is going to be cut off.
From the perspective of those opposing national health care reform, the timing is quite unfortunate.
Families apparently had coverage if they were below 200% of the Federal poverty line (which set the AHCCCS limit at $44K or less for a family of four; the Fed definition of “poverty” is half that amount), and nearly 10,000 Arizona adults will now be facing life without insurance.
This is serious, because I know by direct experience that a lot of those families are in rural parts of the state (like where I live), and I know how desperately poor and in need of healthcare these people are.
But what tends to skeeve me the most is the tone of some of the comments on the AZStarnet article. A few posters seem to be of the opinion that these poverty-ridden adults somehow deserve to live in poverty.
It’s instructive to see the naked face of heartlessness, the bigotry against the poor and ignorant (by those who are arguably every bit as ignorant, if not more), and the presumption of entitlement in those comments. As though having insurance, or even a decent job, is something everyone has a right to, and only personal misbehavior can somehow take away those rights. If these individuals are representative of the anti-health lobby, it’s clear there’s something very, very wrong in this country. A nation that doesn’t even care about the well-being of its citizenry will not last.
I think those who believe there’s no need for a public single-payer health insurance option should stop their vapid moralizing and spend a few years living without health insurance. Particularly if they have kids. See just how easy it is to do without for a change.
Until you’ve actually lived like that, I’m not sure you’ve got a right to comment on what it’s like, or whether it’s fair.
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