Jimmy Kimmel’s a funny guy with a popular late night talk show which I can’t stay up late enough to watch so I don’t know much about him but if you follow the news you noticed the story about his very personal healthcare plea during one of his recent monologues. In part he said:
“Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition. If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”
Those are strong words which he delivered so sincerely and emotionally that it became the news story it is. I don’t think anyone would take issue with what he said but it’s never wise to let your emotions dictate your decisions and not coincidentally I think, the very next day the current revision of the American Health Care Act gained enough support to get it a real vote on the floor of the house which just passed it today. It’s still got to get through the Senate which will be an uphill battle to say the least then back to the house…
It would be wonderful indeed if everyone had access to quality healthcare whenever they needed it but there simply aren’t enough resources in the world. So, where there’s a demand which exceeds the supply, how is the supply rationed? (Ooh, there’s the R word!) We know how. Is it fair? No. What if we said that everyone gets the same access to the limited healthcare resources? Then should lifestyle choices be a factor? Again, it’s never wise to let your emotions dictate your decisions. Consider hunger. No one should be hungry yet we regularly patronize grocery stores that are over-flowing with beautifully displayed ample food stores while very many in the world remain hungry or worse, starving. There are many in our own country who are hungry and malnourished. Should the grocery stores be opened to all “as needed” instead of “as can afford”?
Obamacare was born out of a noble idea that everyone should have the same access to healthcare. It helped only a very few (a statistically insignificant few) while hurting many and is collapsing under its own weight just as its detractors said it would. Its legacy though will be that is has changed the healthcare debate forever. It is this change which now has the Trump administration trying to “fix” Obamacare rather of repealing it. For everyone’s sake, pray he succeeds.