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Bipartisan Outreach

By Dr. Robert Luedecke
. 1 Comment(s)
On the tour I spoke with hundreds of people but one couple stands out in my mind as an outstanding example of why nonpartisan education is necessary.
In Tampa, a man who appeared to be about 30 years old was walking with his mother and saw our signs. He stopped and told me he could not support the Affordable Care Act because he believed it to be a violation of the principles put forward by Ron Paul. While he was saying this, his mother was looking especially distrustful and was scowling at me. I said that Ron Paul had a lot of good ideas, but his ideas were not on the table right now. The options we have right now are to keep the ACA or to throw it all out and start over. He again told me that Ron Paul would not like some of the ACA. His mother was still scowling. I then told him my personal story of how the ACA had helped me have insurance despite having a pre-existing condition. I also told him about how my 23-year-old son is able to continue on my health plan even though he has already graduated from college. I told him about the people who cook in restaurants and cut the lawns and cut hair that will never have health insurance except for the ACA. I expressed the opinion that all of these people did very necessary jobs and worked very hard.  I asked the question, "Should we just tell them all they will never have health insurance?"
As I told the stories, I could see the facial expressions and body language of both of them softening. At the conclusion of the stories, the man was indicating that yes, the ACA did have value to a lot of people. His mother smiled at me, told me I was a good man, and said "God bless you."
It was very impressive to see the change in the opinions of these two people as they learned the facts from someone who had seen them first hand in taking care of patients. They left with the knowledge that the Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction and using everyone's best ideas to further improve it would be much better than throwing it all out and starting over.

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  1. Ilene Flannery Wells

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    Thank you for all that you do. Please play close attention to the partial repeal of the Medicaid Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMD) Exclusion contained in the ACA. Paul's Legacy Project is dedicated to getting appropriate treatment for people with serious mental illness, and unfortunately sometimes that means hospitalization, just like any other illness. However, there is a severe psychiatric bed shortage, and it was caused, in part, by the discriminatory Medicaid IMD Exclusion.

    The financial dis-incentive to provide in-patient treatment when clinically necessary, along with the notion that community treatment is always better, has upended the mental healthcare delivery system so the people who need treatment the most have to become criminals before they can get it. Repealing the Medicaid IMD Exclusion is only one step in correcting the problem, but it is an important one. Having more, permanent, supportive housing units is another - and the ACA provides more money for this.

    Please go to my website for more information. I also will be working to bring attention to th dismal discharge and step-down process, which is so full of holes and causes relapses.

    I support single payer and have worked with the person who put together the www.medicareforall.org website's Mental Health page. This is the only way people with mental illness will get true parity, but like you, I support the improvements that the ACA brings in the meantime.

    Sincerely,

    Ilene Flannery Wells
    Paul's Legacy Project
    www.paulslegacyproject.org
    262-707-5868

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