By now, you have read the news that a group of Republicans locked themselves away from the public and came up with a healthcare bill that is so cruel it will take Medicaid away from 22 million Americans. We cannot allow this bill to pass through Congress. If this bill passes, disabled individuals, the elderly, and children who rely on Medicaid will be left without insurance coverage. These are individuals who cannot work and get insurance through an employer. What makes Congressional representatives think that those on Medicaid can go find work? Medicaid insures the disabled, chronically ill individuals and dying children. It also insures adults who are unable to work or who have never worked due to disability. Republicans claim these people are living off of a government system, when the truth is they would not survive their disabilities without health insurance. Medicare, which is earned and paid for by working citizens, is also in jeopardy. These healthcare benefits are not a free handout. In fact, the majority of disabled people who apply for Medicaid are denied health insurance through the program until they prove in court that they are disabled. Proving disability in the Social Security system can take up to two years - in which claimants live without being able to pay bills, without health insurance, without basic needs - and these are people who have worked their entire lives. This healthcare bill is more than misguided - it is a nightmare - dreamed up by people who have too much power and money and care nothing about others. The real question is why we, as American voters, allowed this group of men to have the power to try to derail the small progress this country has made. Call your representatives and demand healthcare as your right and as a basic right for all American citizens.
DIANNA CANNON, J.D.