The e-mail which brought "This Modern World" to this blogger's In Box yesterday also contained Tom's (Dan's) commentary:
Here's my attempt to grapple with the pointless cruelty of the Republican efforts to take away people’s health care. Obamacare is a flawed, Rube Goldberg-esque system which contorts itself painfully in order to prioritize the private insurance industry. Nonetheless, even if the only thing it did was take “pre-existing conditions” out of the conversation, then that was enough. I get my health coverage through my wife’s employment, but when I was an individual trying to buy insurance on my own, it was nearly impossible. And when I was a single man in San Francisco at the height of the AIDS epidemic, it was literally impossible. If they don’t want to insure you, almost anything can be considered a “pre-existing condition.” Here’s a brief list I lifted from CNN, and keep in mind that this is not comprehensive:
Acne, Acromegaly, AIDS or ARC, Alzheimer's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Anemia (Aplastic, Cooley's, Hemolytic, Mediterranean or Sickle Cell), Anxiety,aortic or Mitral Valve Stenosis, Arteriosclerosis, Arteritis, Asbestosis, Asthma, Bipolar disease, Cancer, Cardiomyopathy, Cerebral Palsy (infantile), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Cirrhosis of the Liver, Coagulation Defects, Congestive Heart Failure, Cystic Fibrosis, Demyelinating Disease, Depression, Dermatomyositis, Diabetes, Dialysis, Esophageal Varicosities, Friedreich's Ataxia, Hepatitis (Type B, C or Chronic), Menstrual irregularities, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, Obesity, Organ transplants, Paraplegia, Parkinson's Disease, Polycythemia Vera, Pregnancy (!!!), Psoriatic Arthritis, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Renal Failure, Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma, Sex reassignment, Sjogren's Syndrome, Sleep apnea, Transsexualism, Tuberculosis.
Basically, being human and alive is a pre-existing condition. Given that the cost of serious medical treatment is more than any average person can ever afford, it leaves us all between a rock and a hard place, a fact which seems not to trouble Republicans at all. And this is the part that I find incomprehensible, especially for average Trump voters. I grew up in the midwest and the south, in rural areas where people drove everywhere and ate fast food frequently, and at least half the people you knew had some sort of health problem — diabetes, obesity, you name it. If anyone should understand the inherent fragility of mortal existence, you'd think they would! And yet, ideological opposition to “government health care” is apparently stronger than their own lived experience (though if anecdotal news reports are any indication, at least some of these voters don’t understand that they’ve been getting health care for the past several years thanks to Obamacare).
Of course, Paul Ryan insists the House bill will not deny anyone coverage due to pre-ex conditions, and maybe that's technically true it would just allow insurers to charge unaffordable premiums. As my friend David Klion put it on Twitter: "The law in its majestic equality permits both you and Paul Ryan to pay tens of thousands of dollars to cover your rare genetic disease."
And let's not forget former congressman Joe Walsh's response to Jimmy Kimmel's widely-shared account of his newborn child's health crisis: “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel, your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care.”
I mean, that is literally the definition of insurance. These people are sociopaths.
It’s still possible that the Senate and House won’t be able to agree on a final version of this monstrosity of a bill. But I’m not counting on sanity prevailing in American politics in 2017.
Finally, here’s a cartoon on health care that I did back in 2001. And I’d been writing on the topic for at least ten years at that point. How long, to sing this song?
Until next time,
Dan (aka Tom)
Too long, Tom (Dan), and it's a stain upon the United States of America. If this is a (fair & balanced) look at the Shame of the Nation, so be it.
A Confederacy Of Sociopaths
By Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins)
[Dan Perkins is an editorial cartoonist better known by the pen name "Tom Tomorrow." His weekly comic strip, "This Modern World," which comments on current events from a strong liberal perspective, appears regularly in approximately 150 papers across the U.S., as well as on Daily Kos. The strip debuted in 1990 in SF Weekly. Perkins, a long time resident of Brooklyn, New York, currently lives in Connecticut. He received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism in both 1998 and 2002. When he is not working on projects related to his comic strip, Perkins writes a daily political blog, also entitled "This Modern World," which he began in December 2001. More recently, Dan Perkins, pen name Tom Tomorrow, was named the winner of the 2013 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. Even more recently, Dan Perkins was a runner-up for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.]
Copyright © 2017 This Modern World/Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License..
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