One Million Uninsured in Arizona: Republican Candidates Don’t Careby Denise Early on Jul. 19, 2010, under Health
Saturday’s Republican debate between John McCain, JD Hayworth, and Jim Deakin gets high marks from me for the candidates’ presentation skills and their well-tuned messages – unlike the amateurish presentations by the Democrats the previous week. But on a topic that is dear to my heart, I think the Republicans failed miserably.
When moderator Bill Buckmaster asked the candidates what they thought about one million Arizona residents who don’t have health insurance, the candidates didn’t have much to say. They seemed more interested in talking about illegals than legal Arizonans without health insurance.
Jim Deakin said many of the one million Arizonans without health insurance are illegal aliens. He then went on to say that a lot of people without health insurance are young people who don’t want it. He said Americans shouldn’t give up their freedom to go without health insurance.
JD Hayworth said we already have a health care program for indigents – and then returned to his attack on John McCain for backing illegals and amnesty.
John McCain said “the problem is not with the quality of care, but cost of care” – though he never addressed how one million people without health insurance can afford any healthcare at all. McCain sent shivers down my spine when he declared that a Republican majority in the House and Senate in January will repeal “ObamaCare”.
The hour-long debate spent less than five minutes on the question of people without health insurance, and it was clear to me that these candidates don’t give a hoot about one million uninsured Arizonans. The one thing they do agree on is the need to repeal the health insurance changes that are part of “ObamaCare”.
Just a few of those changes include:
- Insurers will no longer be able to deny people coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or drop coverage when they get sick. (Begins in 2014.)
- Insurers will no longer be able to charge higher premiums based on a person’s gender or health status. (Begins in 2014.)
- Insurers will be required to spend more of their premium dollars on actual medical care and quality measures. (Begins in 2011.)
- Young people can stay on their parents’ employer health insurance until they are 26 years old. (Takes effect this year.)
- Small businesses will get tax breaks for providing health insurance for their employees. (Takes effect this year.)
- A Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan for people who have been without insurance for six months and have been turned down by an insurance company. (Began taking applications this month.)
According to Statehealthfacts.org, 68% of uninsured Arizonans are in families with at least one person working full-time. According to FamiliesUSA, over 45% of Arizonans between the ages of 55 and 64 have pre-existing conditions that would prevent them from getting individual health insurance.
As an insurance agent, I have met too many women in their 50’s and 60’s who are uninsurable. They are willing to pay any reasonable cost for health insurance – but McCain, Deakin, and Hayworth don’t think these women exist, or they don’t care that they exist.
Back in 1965, Medicare was called a socialist plot that would take away Americans’ freedoms and was bad for the country. The same has been said about healthcare reform today.
The Cholla Jumps blogger thought JD Hayworth won this debate “hands down”. From my point of view, all three candidates get a failing grade when it comes to their lack of interest in one million Arizonans without health insurance. I suppose there are more important issues in the campaign, but not for me.