Is Stupidity a Pre-existing Condition?

Mo Brooks.

He’s a comedian, right?

No, that’s Mel Brooks.  Funny man.

Mo has to be related.

I mean, who could seriously say:

My understanding is that (the new health care proposal) will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool,” Brooks said, “thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people–who’ve done things the right way–that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

No, unfortunately, he’s not a comedian.

He’s not related to Mel Brooks (sorry Mel, to have nearly impugned your reputation).

Yes, he was serious when he said that.

He’s the Republican Congressman representing Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. Seriously.

 

Oh. Well… ah… Maybe he just had a bad day. Or maybe the nasty news media planted this story, you know, like the Republicans always say, it’s fake news.  I mean, he surely didn’t mean that anyone with a pre-existing condition or any other cause to have high health care costs can’t have “led good lives”…”done things to keep their bodies healthy”…”done things the right way.”

I mean, is there anybody that arrogantly stupid?!  Having been sick is a sure sign that someone hasn’t lived “the right way?”  How lame is that?

I wonder how many people who live in Good Ol’ Mo’s Congressional District would be among the losers in Rep. Brooks’s stance.  It’s hard to say.  You see the Republican replacement plan allows each insurer to conveniently define for itself what ailments qualify as pre-existing conditions. Congress apparently wants insurers to have free reign to do what’s best. And we all know how much we can trust the insurance industry to watch out for our best interests.  Who needs goverment protection when we have the insurance companies to cover us?

The Kaiser Foundation estimates that “about a quarter of American adults under 65 have pre-existing conditions that made them ‘declinable.’”  If Mr. Brooks’s constituents are a typical cross section of America (a reasonable assumption), he apparently doesn’t hold 25% of the people he represents in high regard.  Lots of slackers in the doing the right thing department.

Let me see a show of hands here.  If you have had any of the following ailments, please raise your hand:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol abuse/ Drug abuse with recent treatment
  • Alzheimer’s/dementia
  • Arthritis (rheumatoid), fibromyalgia, other inflammatory joint disease
  • Cancer within some period of time (e.g. 10 years, often other than basal skin cancer)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery
  • Crohn’s disease/ ulcerative colitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/emphysema
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epilepsy
  • Hemophilia
  • Hepatitis (Hep C)
  • Kidney disease, renal failure
  • Lupus
  • Mental disorders (severe, e.g. bipolar, eating disorder)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Obesity, severe
  • Organ transplant
  • Paraplegia
  • Paralysis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Pending surgery or hospitalization
  • Pneumocystic pneumonia
  • Pregnancy or expectant parent
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke

OK. Everyone with a raised hand, you’re out!  If you get sick, take out a loan or take your chances with divine intervention.

Now, these are just the most common items among most insurers’ pre-existing conditions.  As mentioned, the insurers make up their own lists.  So the rest of you are not completely out of the woods yet.  Technically, insurers could blow up your rates if you’d had a hangnail, or acne, or sinus headaches, or whatever.

“To put it another way,” writes Beth Skwarecki in Gawker Media’s Lifehacker, “the health care bill doesn’t name any conditions that are fair game; but they also don’t explicitly protect any of them, either.”

This just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

Please, remember this:  Republicans now control:

  • The House of Representatives,
  • The Senate,
  • The White House and all of its Cabinet Agencies, and
  • The Justices on The Supreme Court (Republican Presidents selected the majority of them).

This is the Republican Party’s dream arrangement, they are in control of every facet of the Federal Government. It’s their big chance to get what they really want for America.  What happens to you is now primarily their responsibility.   If they’re not on your side, the government isn’t on your side.

So the pre-existing conditions portion of the newly proposed Republican Health Care law is an example of their national government doing its level best to protect:

(pick one)

  1. American citizens
  2. The Profitability of the Insurance Industry

 

Published by

Jim

Baby Boomer, Born in 1951 in Stamford, CT (Had no choice) Public Schools: Springdale Elementary, Dolan Jr. High, Stamford High - Class of 1969 (Solid public school education) Parents: James Frederick Ash (1921-1965) and Dorothy Johnson Ash (1923 - 2011) (Dad died too soon, Mom suffered too long without him) Attended Virginia Polytechnic Institution - 1969-70 (A big mistake) Graduated Central Connecticut State College (now University) 1970-73 B.S. English Secondary Education and Philosophy (double major) cum laude Fairfield University 1977-80 M.A. Corporate and Political Communications Married 1974 to Doris Mae Plourde, Brunswick, ME (Still married. Who knows, might last after all) English Teacher at Stamford High 1974-79 (In the days of Welcome Back Kotter - my students actually called themselves "sweathogs") Changed Careers and Became a Father in the Same Week, September 1979, Daughter Lauren Diane Father again, February 1983 Son Thomas Carl Client Communications Specialist, Marsh & McLennan, Incorporated, New York 1979-96, left as Managing Director Managing Director Communications - Strategic Account Management (SAM) Aon Risk Services, New York 1996-2005 (Recruited from Marsh) Director Client Communications, Integro Insurance Brokers, New York, 2005-07 (Recruited to help launch start up brokerage company - Fun!) Semi-retired to Orrs Island, Harpswell, ME 2007-15 (My "hermit" period) Grandfather as of December 2014 (The hands-down best job I've ever had!) Co-owner with Doris of the world's most spectacular dog, Charley 2010 (He's the absolute best) Retired, Westport, CT 2015 to date ( Survivor, (so far) Hit by car 1956 Coronary Angioplasty 1998 World Trade Center Disaster 2001 Prostate Cancer 2005 Double By-pass Surgery 2015 Malignant tumor on left kidney - kidney removed, tumor and all 2018 Lifelong Liberal Democrat (One of two in all of Marsh. Fortunately the other one was Chairman) Decent sense of humor (Would be better without the puns I'm told) Blogger (e.g., a writer without any other outlet) Friend of many Enemy of few Not as boring than as this summary might indicate

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