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Plain Talk

Plain Talk

Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 8:01 pm
By: Nicolle Gallagher, Guest Columnist

If a member of your family has been fortunate enough to survive cancer, or any other life-threatening disease, you know how terrifying it is. But there is another kind of fear that comes later – after the routine of life starts again; because cancer returns. 

What ever happened to compassionate conservatism? For the past 4 years  Republicans in almost every campaign from McCain/Palin to Stephen Fincher and Michelle Bachmann have claimed to care about cancer survivors.

Yet barely a moment after Gabrielle Giffords story moved off the front page the newly elected Boehner congress voted to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act. 

The entire thing – including the pre-exisiting condition insurance plan. 

Starting this past July, if you have not had health insurance for the past 6 months you can apply for and, if approved, buy your own emergency insurance. It’s not free and the application process isn’t easy. 

If you have insurance through your job, but it has a waiting period for a pre-exisiting condition – you are ineligble. If you are covered by a high-risk pool plan – like Cover TN  – you are not eligible. 

The program is for the absolute worse off of all patients – people who are literally just hoping they’ll be able to afford the bills if it comes back. 

There are already Americans who have applied for this coverage; for over 6 months survivors from all over the country have been filling out the application and hoping they are approved to buy their own coverage – while at the same time hoping the cancer doesn’t return. 

Congressman Fincher voted to end that program without anything at all to replace it. 

What about those people who are fortunate enough to have coverage while battling disease? 

Once they saw the first of many $15,000 per treatment invoices I bet they are all breathing a sigh of relief that  insurance companies can no longer cut them off at some arbitrary dollar amount. 

If the doctor thinks you need 12 treatments – the insurance company pays for 12 treatments – regardless of how much they’ve already spent on you over the years.

There is no longer a bean-counter between you and your doctor. 

Congressman Fincher voted to repeal that law without anything at all to replace it. 

Congressman Fincher, cancer affects real people with real families who care about them. We are real human beings not just statistics on a page that some polling company tells you you need to appeal to. 

You need to listen to us – that is what you were elected to do. 

Why didn’t the new congress at a minimum make sure protections for patients and survivors would be in place before they repealed the whole law? 

Perhaps they do not realize that cancer doesn’t care who controls the House of Representatives. 

When given the choice to protect survivors or t shareholders; Congressman Fincher chose shareholders. Shame on you Congressman Fincher – and shame on your supporters, too – “the base” must not have been very loud. 

The real question isn’t what happened to compassionate conservatism, it’s what ever happened to basic human decency?

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wcp 2/01/11