Ann Romney is scheduled to speak Tuesday at the Republican National Convention. Based on interviews over the past few days, it’s pretty clear her goal is to get people to see her husband as a real human being, loving, caring and down to earth, someone we might like to invite into our own living rooms. She has gone into some detail recently of the devastating changes in her life when she was diagnosed a few years ago with Multiple Sclerosis, even to the point of revealing how Mitt would crawl into bed with her when she was at her lowest and sickest point to boost her morale and keep her spirits up. We’re supposed to see him as a nice guy. And I suppose, in the realm of loving husband and father, he is a nice guy.
But what I want to hear Ann tell me in her speech is how she thinks it might have felt to get that same diagnosis, to face the same questions, fears and uncertainties she faced, to conquer the depression that eventually overcame her, to undergo the costly treatments that ultimately turned the illness around for her, without either money or insurance. I want to hear how well she might have handled her illness with the odds already against her.
And then I want her to tell me how the Republican Party expects people, normal middle income people, to go through what she went through without the Affordable Care Act, which is the only thing to come down the pike in years that actually helps the middle class. Because Romney insists that if he is elected, repealing it will be the first thing on his agenda. Which is the single most important reason every non-millionaire American should not vote for him.
I don’t need to list statistics here to show how devastating a long-term chronic and/or potentially life threatening illness can be to a family’s financial security and stability. We’ve all heard the stories, the nightmares. And as many of us have already experienced, the Affordable Care Act, if nothing else, at least provides the security of knowing that in the face of a serious illness the one thing we won’t have to worry about is that our insurance company might drop us, or refuse to pay for certain aspects of our care, or raise our rates to a point where we can no longer afford the coverage. I want Ann Romney to tell us all what she would have done if she had had to face issues such as these as she struggled with her new diagnosis. Of course she won’t have an answer, because of course she has never had those kinds of concerns.
In the first place, though I have no way of knowing it, my guess is that she doesn’t even carry insurance – why should she since she is already a multimillionaire who can surely afford any treatment she may need? But even if she does have insurance, no doubt the best money can buy, I doubt she has even the least worry about whether or not her rates will go up, or even if the insurance company might drop her outright, which of course they would never do, because she is, after all, Ann Romney. I’d love, however, to be a fly on the wall as she tries to imagine herself in such a situation. A situation that does occur, however, countless times every single day to good, hard-working people throughout this country.
So tell me, Mrs. Romney, please, just how do you expect people will handle a diagnosis like yours, and all its related problems, issues, concerns and fears, after your husband repeals the Affordable Care Act? You can talk until you’re blue in the face about what a good man he is, how concerned and caring he was when you were diagnosed and in the throes of your illness – but how does that make him any different from any other husband, father, or son facing a loved one with a devastating illness? What I want to see is evidence that he cares about ME, as an individual, enough to leave things as they are with the Affordable Care Act and my insurance. Because I need my insurance. And I need my rates to not go up or my coverage to be dropped just because I get sick.
Mrs. Romney, just how DO you expect people to handle a diagnosis like yours after your husband repeals the Affordable Care Act?