I recently met Ron who is 79, lives alone, is currently being treated for three types of cancer, diabetes, COPD. He has trouble walking due to pain in his knees and feet, so he relies on a walker to keep him from falling. Most days, he doesn’t have the energy to get dressed, so when I met with him, he was dressed just in his adult incontinence garment. He repeatedly answered questions by stating, “I’m not sure” and had difficulty coming up with specific information regarding his history. He also shared that he worked as a Finance Director for many years.After a while, he stated, “I have that dementia too.” He was doing pretty well, I thought, considering his challenges.At one point in the conversation, he said, “Do you think this new guy in office will really help us old folks?”
Later, it occurred to me that he doesn’t fully understand the current political climate and how likely he is to be harmed by new policies coming from the White House.
It is at times like this that I feel urgency to share this information with people who do understand and are capable of standing up for others like Ron.We all need to become advocates.
Recently, I learned more details regarding the details of the ACA repeal and replace plan and possible changes to Medicaid. Here are a few points of interest: The House has already approved the repeal of some taxes that are connected to the ACA. Because of this, there will certainly be cuts to Medicaid.
They will most likely come in the form of Medicaid Block Grants or per capita limits on the State level. This will translate to wait lists and rationing of medical and long term care.
If this does occur, which seems likely, States and Governors will have a lot of control over how the cuts are implemented.
Here are three steps you can take to become an advocate:
1. It starts with paying attention and informing yourself regarding issues that are important to you.
2. Look up who are your representatives and reach out to them to stand up for others.
3. Stay informed through trusted sources. Stay connected with other advocates. Please share any sources or ideas through comments to this blog!
4. Most importantly, TAKE ACTION!
Here is an article from JAMA, trusted source, outlining some of the shocking facts about the issues surrounding the repeal of the ACA and it’s potential impact on health care: