AZ Health Care = Death Panels

Posted: November 17, 2010 in Class Warfare, Healthcare, Sick in AZ

Oh, irony, sweet irony!  Wait, irony isn’t sweet….it’s extremely bitter.  Just ask 32-year-old Francisco Felix of Laveen, AZ.  The hospital had a donated liver waiting for him Monday night, but it was given to someone else the very next morning. Why?  Because Francisco’s only healthcare comes from the state’s agency that helps the poor, AHCCCS and the state couldn’t afford the bill.  In fact, liver transplants are one of 7 types of transplants the state no longer covers as of Oct. 1, 2010.  There are 60 patients total who are covered by AHCCCS that need these life saving procedures. 

Some conservative websites are saying government-run healthcare is the problem.  What they fail to recognize is that these individuals are poor.  And being poor also precludes them from being part of any privately run healthcare system.  So there is no other way for these individuals to receive care except through the government or individual donations.  Recently a man also on AHCCCS and denied coverage was lucky enough to get a private donor to cover the cost of his bone marrow transplant.   But there were not enough donations for Francisco who still lives but has little hope left.

The REAL problem is that the healthcare being offered is run by the state.  In Arizona this means the system is being run by a bunch of petty Republican thugs pretending to be legislators who couldn’t balance budget if their own lives depended on it.  Here in AZ if money needs to be cut, by golly they take it from the most vulnerable.  It’s like taking candy from a baby–literally.  For example, the state got rid of “all day” kindergarten.  Who does that affect?  The poor and their children.  Child care is very expensive and if both parents have to work to keep the family afloat, who takes care of the kids?  And don’t give me that stupid argument that it’s not the government’s responsibility to babysit our children.  I wholeheartedly agree it isn’t.  Yet from a practical standpoint how does the state expect the poor to work several jobs and care for their children?  How does the state expect our kids to be ready for the first grade without a proper full-time education?  How do they gain knowledge but also the social skills if they are latch-key kids?  Hundreds, if not thousands of studies have shown the benefits to children and to society in general of full-day kindergarten.

The other iron in the situation is that we wouldn’t be in this budgetary mess if not for the conservatives. They controlled the Federal Government for the majority of both terms of Pres. G.W. Bush’s tenure in office and have controlled the Arizona State government since the beginning of time.  They were the ones who started the two unfunded wars, deregulated the banking industry and encouraged greater state control of healthcare programs.  Will they acknowledge their culpability in setting up the current economic crisis that forces such drastic budget cuts?  Will the acknowledge that “cost containment” is their fault and “death panels” their creation?  No, because that would be honest and introspective.  And we know how much they dislike that!

Instead our legislators are running around screaming about the “Nanny State”.  They only want freedom.   Conservatives in AZ want to give the poor the freedom to die because of a lack of healthcare. They want to provide the freedom to remain ignorant and be unable to work for living.   I can taste that freedom now and it is bitter indeed.



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