Rory(not his real name), my yard man, was loading equipment into his truck when he referenced an affliction that was causing him to go blind in one eye. Ruefully, he acknowedged that he had no insurance and no money to pay doctor and hospital the $5700 needed for corrective surgery.
When I asked him if he had applied for Medicaid, he said "yes." He went on to mention that his wife's health had forced the couple to pay $400 per month to cover the premiums required to maintain her necessary treatment and medication. He admitted that he "wasn't complaining;" except that there were day workers like himself who "received anything they wanted for free." The problem was they were not in the country legally. "Somehow," Rory mused, "that ain't right!"
He was referring to one of the side affects of Phyler versus Doe, the 1982 Supreme Court ruling. Phyler versus Doe ultimately extended entitlements to illegal aliens. In the proposed "American English Unification Amendment" ("E" Amendment) introduced in "E" is for English, Phyler versus Doe would be superceded.
How much is America spending to facilitate this Supreme Court ruling? Studies should reveal much more than most Americans could possibly imagine! With Congress in gridlock over budget cuts, it's truly amazing that this variable has not surfaced. Perhaps it's because nobody wants to talk about it!
Certainly, both Republicans and Democrats are willing to discuss Rory's woes. Democrats conclude that the solution is universal health care. In the eyes of Barack Obama, his "new health care legislation" should answer the question and then some. But will it? As Rory admitted, "I see people drawing disability checks driving around in expensive cars, living in nice homes. Somehow, they're getting paid. But I also know people who don't have enough to eat and are getting $12 per month in food stamps! That's it! I'm talking about people, American people who have worked all their lives and paid into the system."
Republicans point to one measure that would have some tangible result. By allowing all 1300 health insurance companies to cross state lines, the prices for health insurance would logically come down. As Florida Senator, Marco Rubio asked, "what if you could buy your car insurance only from State Farm, Alstate and Shelter?" A guy with a 10th grade education like Rory could figure that one out! "Our car insurance rates would skyrocket!" he laughs. "But why can't we do that with health insurance?" Great question!
Guys like Rory(and a lot of other Americans) would like to know "why" illegal aliens can have free health insurance, food stamps, low income housing, A.F.D.C and other entitlements when 43 million people have no health insurance and are limited to minimal amounts of entitlements? Would guys like Rory be in favor of the "E" Amendment? What about more affluent people? Do they feel that it is their obligation to house, feed and provide medical care for people unlawfully in the country?
Cynics would conclude that the President would never press the issue. After all, he wants to "grant them amnesty so that they will become new Democrat voters." In fairness, we cannot think that lowly of President Obama. Especially since Republicans are also "keeping mum" on the subject!
Maybe it's because to do so would be politically incorrect. Most of the media would demonize any politician who dared suggest that we "stop taking care of children." They would ridicule any political leader who supported "starving illegals into self deportation." Had Speaker Boehner included such a measure in his deficit reduction package, guys like Chris Mathews would have referred to him as having "a heart of a thousand fiends."
Returning to Rory. How would passing the "E" Amendment help him save the sight in his eye? For starters, we would have more to invest in "forgotten America." Most Americans agree. Charity begins at home! We need to turn our attention to people living legally in the country.
It might not happen immediately. But with other practical measures such as allowing unrestricted competition for medical providers and "tort reform" we would be on the path toward a solution. It's a start in the right direction.
Democrats believe that they have accomplished this very notion. They are inflicting "mental morphine" into the psyches! "Reducing health care costs for all" was not accomplished by the new legislation. In fact it does the opposite! Everyones costs are heading up, including those of Medicare recipients. "Disaffecteds," members of forgotten America such as Rory, were completely left out.
So who did benefit? People with pre-existing conditions. 26 year-olds living with their parents? Some union members? Sounds like a handful of people benefited at the expense of the rest us! Worse still, illegals receiving medicare and medicaid were never mentioned!
Imagine building a road across a grassy meadow. What happens if you begin pouring asphalt immediately on the grass? Without prep work? The end result is "a mess." You have built something unsustainable.Get the picture!
Hardworking survivors like Rory aren't asking for universal healthcare. In fact, they aren't looking for a "handout," or even a "hand." The bare essentials are accepted with a mild degree of shame and embarrasment. But only as a last resort! These are self reliant, proudly independent Americans. They only ask to be remembered.