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2017-MAY: The American Health
Care Act (AHCA) in the Senate.
How many people will die?

Part 12

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A blood glucose monitoring instrument for Canadians with diabetes.

Canadian diabetis monitoring instrument

In the U.S. and a few other countries, blood glucose is measured in units
of millimoles per litre (mM). In Canada and most of the rest of the world
it is measured in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL).
mM readings in the U.S. are 18.0 times those in mg/dL. The normal
range is 72 to 126 mM in the U.S., or 4 to 7 mg/dL elsewhere.

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This topic is continued here from Part 11 at the previous page

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Some people are finally "getting it:" American lives are at stake (Continued):

  • Ryan Grenoble, writing for the Huffington Post, discussed a project by Zoey Salsbury -- a U.S. college student. Zoey said that she was horrified by the passage of the AHCA by Republican representatives in the House who were:

    "either unaware their legislation would kill people, or simply unsympathetic enough to care."

Zoey created a new web site at http://www.mailmetothegop.com. At the top of the home page, she wrote:

"Will you die because of AHCA? Let them know.

Millions of Americans rely on protections and coverage from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The Republicans' new bill will gut these protections and many will die. 1

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Her web site contains instructions so that readers can arrange to have their ashes sent to a GOP member of Congress via USPS if they die and are later cremated.

The site lists 50 messages contributed by many individuals who expect a major problem -- up to and including dying -- soon if the AHCA becomes law. Some mentioned:

  • Those with epilepsy will not be treated.

  • Pregnancy will cost women $17,000.

  • One person has five different pre-existing conditions including asthma and heart problems wrote that, if they were left untreated, they would die before long.

  • Another can't afford anti-depressant medications and may commit suicide.

  • Another has a rare form of leukemia: "No cure or remission. I can stay alive for a long time if I take daily oral chemo. But without insurance I can’t afford my meds and I will die..."

  • Still another said that they were born with a intestinal condition and will not be able to afford to keep to keep it under control. "The GOP might as well put a bullet in my head."

  • An anonymous person shared a letter they had sent to their member of Congress:

    "This morning, the House vote for the AHCA sent a strong message to my family -- some of which who are your loyal constituents. Today, half of Congress made it clear that American lives are meaningless. Today, this vote said that funding the wealthy is more important than my father receiving insulin, my mother purchasing antidepressants, or me finding comfort and safety through assistance following on-campus rape. You are all meant to represent and serve the people, but today it was clear that you only serve yourselves. Today, I implore you think about what an American life is worth. I beg you to think of your family, your friends, and your fellow citizens. Worry about the future of your Senate seat as well as your conscience if you choose to push AHCA forward. If you want blood on your hands, continue to fight against the basic human right to public health. If you want to lose voters through death and poverty, push this through. But if you have any sense of morality and duty to this country, stand up for what is right. Vote NO to AHCA and vote YES to the continued health and wellbeing of Americans. Be better." 1

  • On MAY-03, on the day before the vote in the House, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) said:

    "The craven bill I see coming to vote tomorrow is just cruel and just wrong. Screw the politics. This is about people, this is about what’s morally right, this is about what we stand for. ... [this bill is] not just worse [than the Affordable Care Act.] It is a death knell." 2

  • On MAY-04, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) powerfully tweeted:

    "Donald Trump and Republicans just celebrated voting to let thousands of Americans die so that billionaires get tax breaks. Think about that." 3

  • On MAY-04, Rep John Lewis (R-GA) issued three tweets, saying:

"Those who are sick will suffer, and some of them will die. This is a shame and a disgrace. May God have mercy on us all.

If this bill becomes law, at least 24 million Americans who can see their doctors today will be turned away tomorrow.

Never have I seen legislative action that reveals such clear disdain for the human dignity of the most vulnerable among us." 4

(His reference to tens of millions of people losing health care would only apply a few years after the AHCA was approved. The number applies to a previous version of the bill)

On MAY-06, Kurt Eichenwald, a senior Newsweek writer, tweeted a bitter, hate-filled tweet [Grammar and spelling were changed to improve readability]:

"As one with a preexisting condition, I hope every GOP representative who voted for Trumpcare sees a family member get a long term [health] condition, lose insurance, and die." 5

This, of course, is scapegoating: hoping that innocent persons will suffer for the sins of other people. Although scapegoating is generally condemned by world religions and philosophical systems, it is a common theme seen in the Bible.

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Just how many people would die preventable deaths if Obamacare is repealed?

A Google Search for "number people die AHCA" found many estimates if, as predicted, 24 million people lose their insurance during its first few years if the AHCA it is implemented. Among the first few Google hits were:

Vox estimated more than 24,000 extra deaths per year. That is more than 240 people dying yearly per Senator, or 66 people dying each day.

(That would be about 45 miles of coffins yearly if laid end to end!)

Think Progress noted that a study in Massachusetts measured how much mortality rates dropped after the state adopted Obamacare-like reforms in 2006. The study estimated that "for every 830 adults gaining insurance coverage there was one fewer death per year." That would imply more than 27,000 people across the U.S. would needlessly die each year under Trumpcare.

Forbes throws doubts upon these and similar estimates.

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Zoey Salsbury, web site at: http://www.mailmetothegop.com
  2. Amber Athey, "Booker: GOP Healthcare Bill Will Cause 'Death, Pain, And Suffering'," Daily Caller, 2017-MAY-03, at: http://dailycaller.com/
  3. Daniel Marans, "Bernie Sanders Obliterates The GOP Health Care Bill In 1 Tweet," Huffington Post, 2017-MAY-04, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  4. From a Google search for: Rep John Lewis on 2017-MAY-09.
  5. " 'Newsweek' Writer: I Hope GOP Sees Family Members Die After ObamaCare Repeal," Fox News, 2017-MAY-07, at: http://insider.foxnews.com/

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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted on: 2017-MAY-11
Latest update: 2017-MAY-11
Author: B.A. Robinson
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