I live in one of the states whose governor decided to refuse cooperating with the federal government on implementing ObamaCare — in Oklahoma. I am also one of many who do not have health care but needs it. My income is not low enough to qualify for Medicaid and not high, enough to afford health care, that is — under the old system.
ObamaCare is the first time I will be able to afford health care. I will still have to pay for part of my health care but at a rate, I can afford. However, my governor, Mary Fallon, does not seem to care much about my health care or others like me. Even though I am a full-time working Oklahoman who pays state taxes, what I need and many other Oklahomans need does not seem to be of a concern to Governor Fallon.
Oklahoma was ranked 43rd of all the states, with the number of uninsured in 2008 -2009. If Governor Fallon thinks, she can do a better job than the federal government to provide health care to her constituents, then where is her plan to do so? Up to this moment and until 2014, the only health care many Oklahomans and I have had, is the emergency room. The cost is high for emergency room care. Regular care, such as preventive medicine and regular health exams, could save a great deal of money for Oklahomans and for the state government and improve the overall health of the state in the long run. I would think our governor could see the logic in that and the reality that it is the right thing to do.
I also speak from experience. Though I will not go through any details on my own medical condition at one time, I went through the emergency health care plan of this state, meaning I ended up in an emergency room. It was not because it just suddenly came upon me and I was sick, but because I had ignored an illness far too long and grew sicker. I spent six days in the hospital, which I should not had, if I had health care before becoming sick.
This is what many uninsured people do, they wait until they are too sick to ignore it any longer and sometimes at death’s door, then they go to the emergency room.
I am still paying through an installment plan and will for years to come. This all because I make just a bit more than the average Medicaid recipient and a great deal less than those who can afford it. This the kind of encouragement Republican politics gives to Americans who work and pay their own way.
Governor Fallon is refusing to set up health care insurance exchanges and to expand the Medicaid eligibility in the state, even though the federal government will pay for the cost for the first three years, and then the state pays only close to ten percent afterwards.
Perhaps her statement: “It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support or fund a new government program,” says it all of what she cares about when it comes to health care for all Oklahomans — taxes, taxes comes first. The only problem with her argument is that the state does not pay for those exchanges, or the expansion in Medicaid for at least three years, then a small ten percent rate.
Fortunately, ObamaCare includes a provision if states do not create health care insurance exchanges, which is for the federal government to do it instead. Otherwise, Oklahomans like me would be under the rule of a state governor who decided to block many Oklahomans a chance at health care.
Oklahoma is a good example of health care run by Republicans, which means emergency rooms for the working poor. If Oklahomans waited for our Republican controlled state government to bring us health care, we would be sitting in emergency rooms until the day we die. It is thanks to ObamaCare, those days will soon be over.
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