The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 24, 2013

Find a way to pay for care

The Commercial-News

---- — Michelle Dick, whose story of courage and perseverance while battling cancer since 2010 is told on today’s Page 1, is not alone. Like many Americans, she faces serious medical challenges — and the costs of the treatment.

The lucky ones have good insurance that will significantly reduce their expenses. But no one in the United States should face potential bankruptcy due to an illness or accident. Politics aside, that’s what the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — was supposed to fix. Just a few weeks into the program, it’s obvious the law will not do what it was intended to do. But that doesn’t mean the goal should be abandoned.

Congress can find ways to funnel money into all sorts of programs and projects. Tax breaks for all income brackets, refunds for this, subsidies for that — political partners see repayment in laws designed to reduce their costs. A subsidy for goat farmers who produce mohair, the fleece of Angora goats, remains in effect. Millions in taxpayer dollars go to the farmers. We all know how critical mohair is, right?

So why can’t sick or injured people receive the same consideration?

How any brilliant ideas have been lost because a person succumbed to a disease or injury he allowed to fester too long due to his inability to pay?

How many elderly residents find themselves forced to decide between paying for medications or paying household expenses?

This seems like such a simple goal: Figure out a way for Americans to receive necessary health care without forcing them to face bankruptcy.

This is the most powerful and affluent nation on the planet. We should start acting like it by taking care of our sick and injured first, then we can worry about the mohair industry.