Sunday, July 1, 2012

Come visit my classroom, McConnell!

Senator Mitch McConnell said that 30 million uninsured Americans is "not the issue" when asked how Republicans would provide health care coverage to those people.


It most certainly IS the issue!  And I challenge Sen. McConnell to come visit my classroom once school starts.  Here's what he will see (and I have seen this as a high school teacher).  I changed the names,  but these young people were students in my classes over the past few years:

1) Becky - she is in constant pain from something.  She is doubled over as she sits at her desk.  The nurse and I try to get her family to take her to a doctor but the family has no insurance.  Dad makes too much money to get on AHCCS (Arizona's version of Medicaid), but can't afford insurance for the family.  Finally Becky stops coming to school.  Becky was in my class several years ago and I haven't been able to find out what happened to her.

2) Jose - he doesn't pay attention in class, holds his face in his hands.  I find out he is in constant pain because his teeth are so rotten and infected.  We get him to a dentist who provides free services to our students, but the infection has run so deep that now it affects his entire jaw and sinuses.  His family has no insurance and as of the end of that school year, he hadn't seen a doctor.

3) Daniel - he missed several days of school and when I called home, he answered.  His mother was sick and he was staying home to care for her.  She lost her job and then her health insurance.  She couldn't afford COBRA because that premium cost is atronomical.  He informed me that his mother has cancer.  She died during the winter break that year.  Daniel was put into foster care and I don't know where he is now.

4) Yolanda - she missed several days of school and I found out she went to her dad's funeral in Kansas.  He died of complications from diabetes.  His health insurance company dropped him after a diabetic coma and no other company would take him because of his "pre-existing condition."  Make no mistake about it: our health care system killed Yolanda's father.

5) Myra - her dad lost his job and his health insurance for the family.  Right before this happened, Myra was diagnosed with a cyst on her ovary.  The family couldn't pay for the surgery even after selling furniture out of their home.  She was in constant pain until we found a gynecologist who would do the surgery at no cost.  It took this doctor weeks to talk the hospital into providing the outpatient surgery on a payment schedule.  In the meantime, Myra missed several weeks of school ... she dropped out. I just hope she's okay because ovarian cysts tend to come back.

Please keep in mind, these are REAL people.  McConnell says they "aren't the issue."  They ARE the issue and it's time we let the Republicans on Capitol Hill know that.  I would love for McConnell to come to my classroom and tell my students they "aren't the issue."  Face to face, McConnell!!  Do you have the guts to look these young people in the eyes and tell them they don't matter?

If REAL PEOPLE aren't the issue, then what is?  Well ... I have the answer to that:  the issue is President Obama.  The Republicans on Capitol Hill will do anything to get him out of office.The president built the ACA on the REPUBLICAN plan that Mitt Romney put into effect in Massachusetts ... a plan that works!  And now they are criticizing it and promising to repeal the law if Romney is elected? 

So, you tell me ... what's the issue?  Pretty obvious, don't you think?

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