“Kicking the Can”
The Problem with ObamaCare
that Nobody Talks about
By Elvira Arellano
The national news lit up last week after the Supreme Court heard arguments about ”Obama Care.” The court will decide if Obama’s effort to provide health insurance for most U.S. citizens be requiring all citizens to buy insurance is constitutional.
The news coverage reminded me of the time Familia Latina Unida demonstrated outside on the steps of the Supreme Court. We were asking the Supreme Court to hear our lawsuit which sought to stop the government from deporting the parents of U.S. citizen children. We argued that it violated the constitutional rights of the children. Sadly, the court never decided to hear our case.
While we were demonstrating, I saw a young boy kicking a soda can down the street. I thought to myself, ”That is what they are doing to our children, kicking their futures down the road like an old dirty half crushed soda can.”
The problem with “Obama care” for “us” is that it explicitly excludes the undocumented, making it illegal for them to purchase insurance, even at market rates. Perhaps you will remember that President Obama felt it necessary to sell his legislation by repeatedly announcing that “no illegals would benefit in any way from his proposal.”
Of course, it is simply bad health care policy to exclude millions of people from health care. Communicable diseases, bacteria and viruses do not ask their victims if they have papers. Emergency rooms are still required to treat everyone who comes in, driving up healthcare costs because patients did not get early detection and treatment of preventable diseases.
In Chicago, those without insurance in the African American and Latino community, where few have insurance, live 20 years less, die 20 years earlier, than those in white communities who have insurance. In New York City, the “death gap” is 12 years. Any intelligent person would call this what it is: murder. Murder of any particular group or class of people is genocide. Of course that is the situation which “Obama Care” aimed to fix – but he intentionally left millions of men, women and children out.
In Illinois, the state legislature is cutting its budget. They have determined to cut health care for undocumented kids and for undocumented patients receiving dialysis – a virtual death sentence. With all the fat contracts and bloated departments in the state budget, why are these politicians targeting the few dollars spent on undocumented kids, dollars that save money for expensive emergency room care?
It is a fact that the undocumented pay taxes. It is a fact that excluding the undocumented from access to health care is bad health care policy for everyone. I guess the state of Illinois, like the federal government, just kicks the can down the road out of habit –out of a murderous, genocidal racist habit.
We know why. In U.S. history it is called the “Monroe Doctrine.” It is the self-professed North American belief that they have the right to do to and with whatever they want in dealing with Latin America and its people. We are profitable and disposable.
In the journey of my life from Mexico to the United States and back to Mexico – by deportation, traveling through Honduras and Guatemala with the migrants, I have gotten a real education about the effects of U.S. policy on the people of Latin America. It is a history that has caused unbelievable suffering and death.
I have also seen the amazing growth of the Latino community in the United States. In the terms of the Bible, the Lord has made us “to be fruitful and to multiply.” It is the destiny of Latin Americans, the “Latinos”, to organize to defend our people. God has given us the numbers and therefore the power. GOD IS WATCHING TO SEE IF WE USE IT.