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Healthcare and the Good Old Summertime


Summer can be hell for people with chronic illnesses

How’s your summer going? Is it a carefree time, filled with picnics, vacations, and long evenings spent outside? Oh I hope that you get to enjoy some or all of the loveliness of summer.

Summer can be hell for people with chronic illnesses. Heat can make it difficult to be outside, adding extra discomfort when going to doctor’s appointments. Sleep can be harder to come by if you are trapped in a hot environment, unable to afford air conditioning or other cooling device.

Some of us yearn for those summers of our youth, the lazy days of sleeping late, hanging out with friends, swimming, and balancing having fun while trying to stay out of trouble. That yearning can be intense if you face illness, medical appointments, and mounting bills.

My summer has been marred by the Senate’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA aka Obamacare). I assume it is adding an extra level of stress to others who rely on the ACA. Recently, various news sources reported that the nonpartisan U.S. Congressional Budget Office revealed that 32 million Americans would lose their health insurance by 2026 if Obama’s ACA is repealed without a replacement. Can you imagine life without healthcare coverage? Can you imagine facing cancer, mental illness, diabetes, pain, or any of the many other health conditions that are so common in the U.S.?

Even if you feel secure in your healthcare, you will be affected if 32 million American lose their coverage. Medical costs will rise for everyone. Some hospitals and medical practices will close, Unemployment will increase.

Although attempts to repeal or to repeal and replace the ACA have been stalled, there will be future attempts. Please don’t stand by and do nothing. You can make a difference by calling your senators and expressing your opinion. Ask them to leave the ACA alone. If your Senator or Congressperson voted against any attempts to repeal or reduce the ACA, please thank them. Many of them are back home in their districts, so this is a good time to contact them.

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel said, “What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.” Don’t be silent. Contact your senators at www.senate.gov. Call, write, email, tweet, and visit. Do this today, and your summer may be a bit more pleasurable just because you helped to make a difference.

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