One Dad’s Thoughts on ‘Trumpcare’

By Joseph McGrath

The views of this author do not necessarily represent those of the Franciscan Action Network

I’m the father of two beautiful daughters and husband to a heroic woman. Our oldest daughter, Maura, is 18 and has severe intellectual disabilities, autism and other behavioral issues and depends on Medicaid and others for all of her needs. Our second daughter, Michelle, is 17. She is gifted both academically and athletically, and has been blessed with a caring and compassionate heart.McGrath Family

The beer party celebration in the rose garden at the White House was sickening and hypocritical. They weren’t celebrating a cure for cancer, but instead they were celebrating the repeal of the ACA that includes $880 billion in Medicaid cuts. According to Senator [Bernie] Sanders, they will give estimated tax breaks of $52 billion dollars to the richest family and $4 billion dollars for a politician’s family as a result of the estate tax break. To make matters even worse, only the top 0.2% of the top 1% of richest families receive this tax break. I am not against tax cuts, but this specific cut would mean the other 99.99998% of families are worse off because of it. Shouldn’t we know how much all politicians benefit from the Medicaid cuts as well as the pharmaceutical and insurance companies? Shouldn’t politicians protect the poor and vulnerable and not give tax cuts to the rich and comfortable? Do they vote for the American people or for their personal pockets?

Thirteen male senators met in private to discuss and write a new healthcare bill. They met in private after complaining publicly about Obama’s healthcare bill seven years ago. After criticizing Obama for so long, you would think that they already came up with their replacement for Obamacare. It is hypocritical and shameful that our government, “by the people, for the people,” is writing this bill in secret.

“Trumpcare” will cut Medicaid by $880 billion dollars over the next ten years. This will happen by changing Medicaid from an entitlement, in which the federal government automatically provides states with funding based on the needs of their population, to either a block grant or a per capita allocation. This will only become worse as time goes on because many baby boomers will need Medicaid as they age. Currently, Medicaid pays for 60% of people in nursing homes. The proposed plan will also cut Medicaid-funded home and community-based services, so that seniors and people with disabilities can live in their own homes, control their own lives, and be fully included in society. This is a crucial reason why advocacy groups for the Elderly, Disabled and Poor all oppose this bill. Also opposed to this bill are hospitals, health insurers, doctors and religious leaders, including the Catholic bishops who expressed concern over what they dubbed “serious flaws.” Charities have already noted that these cuts will be disastrous. Shouldn’t all religious leaders (Shepherds) speak out against Medicaid cuts to protect their flock?

As a father of a child who cannot defend herself or even tell me if someone has hurt her, Paul Ryan and politicians with his policies terrify me. They’re commitment, or lack thereof, to the elderly, poor and disabled resemble the principles of Ayn Rand more than Pope Francis. We must speak out. Gandhi once said, “Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” The truth is cuts to Medicaid are occurring in order to provide tax cuts for the rich. These cuts will lead to more deaths and more poverty. Also, more elderly and disabled will be forced to live in institutions as a result. I always recommend people to google Christmas in Purgatory to see how the disabled were treated in institutions. Cuts to Medicaid will cause reduced care and will cause higher incidents of neglect and abuse and ultimately death. Paul Ryan after the Manchester bombing said “To deliberately target innocent children is cowardice in its most heinous form.” I agree, but taking health care from the sick also targets the innocent. Cutting Medicaid is clear political cowardice. I make this statement as a proud Casey democrat.

I believe Healthcare is a universal human right. Cuts to Medicaid are pro-greed, pro-malice, and pro-death.

Many politicians abuse the term “pro-life” in order to garner votes. Cuts to Medicaid are hypocrisy. When politicians make cuts to these safety net programs, this leads to abortions. Unfortunately, pro-life has become has become a single issue to make abortion illegal for many. Can you support life when you support politicians whose policies hurt both the born and unborn and may result in abortion?

Are people so naive to believe if Roe vs Wade is overturned that it will end abortions? Countries in Europe who outlaw abortions have women cross the border to another country to have an abortion. Wouldn’t women just go to another state? We will always have people who choose abortion. That’s why I believe in love, care and support, especially for pregnant women and the vulnerable.

When my wife, Rita was pregnant with Maura, we found out that our child was going to be born with Down syndrome. My wife was questioned multiple times if she was going to terminate the pregnancy. The resounding answer was always no in accordance to both her commitment to life and to her Catholic faith.Maura

Maura, who at birth had only a slightly beating heart as her only sign of life and spent the first month of her life in a NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit], had open heart surgery at 4 months old. When our girls were 17 and 3 months old, we received terrible news. My wife had breast cancer. After months of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, she beat cancer. I tell you these stories because some times there are situations beyond our control. I know the fear of almost losing my wife and my daughter. The fear of Medicaid cuts are as just terrifying and I am advocating against these cuts to protect the vulnerable.

Donald Trump tweeted, “I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me.” The recent beer party celebrated Trump’s lie. As a result of this vicious lie, obituaries will soon read, ‘Cause of death: Trumpcare.’

Hubert Humphrey said, “The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” Trumpcare fails every single one of these moral tests. Aren’t we all better than this as Americans? Shouldn’t we be judged on our actions and try to promote life with love, care and support?

These are my experiences as a Dad and Husband that must be shared. If anything offends God, I ask forgiveness and Mercy from God.

Published in: on June 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I feel the same horror at what has happened to our country. It is disintegrating for the sake of anxiety and greed. Congress has been listening to corporations instead of to human citizens for a long time, and the recent election brought all of that out into the open. Trump may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. We must all demonstrate our compassion for one another, just as we make stands by boycotting and striking until Congress focuses its attention where it belongs.

  2. An excellent, insightful, and realistic piece. If every single one of our legislators read and digested this, perhaps their hearts would be softened! Thanks for this!

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