I've seen this reported both by TalkingPointsMemo and Rawstory and I think it's a classic case of a Conservative Sabotaging themselves, then being secondarily sabotaged by an uncaring Conservative Legislature - and then coming to the obvious and brilliant conclusion that President Obama is to blame for it all.
I'm mean, how could he not be at fault?
Luis Lang needs eye surgery after recently discovering he has a detached retina exacerbated by diabetes. When he had the chance to he refused, on principle and the fact that at the time he made enough to pay his own medical bills, to get a plan on the Obamacare exchange during open enrollment because he didn't realize that the headache's he'd been having were actually mini-strokes.
The treatment for that has burned thru his savings, and his deteriorating eyesight has significantly cut his income. Open enrollment for 2015 has passed, and even if it hadn't, he now doesn't earn enough to qualify the private plan with a subsidy. Normally his next option would be Medicaid, yet unfortunately for Mr. Lang he lives in South Carolina, one of the 21 Republican dominated states that refused the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.
So, he can't get coverage. We will discuss how President Obama failed him so horribly over the flip.
The Charlotte Observer describes the situation this way.
“He will lose his eyesight if he doesn’t get care. He will go blind,” said Dr. Malcolm Edwards, the Lancaster, S.C., ophthalmologist who examined Lang.
Lang is a self-employed handyman who works with banks and the federal government on maintaining foreclosed properties. He has done well enough that his wife, Mary, hasn’t had to work. They live in a 3,300-square-foot home in the Legacy Park subdivision valued at more than $300,000.
But he has never bought insurance. Instead, he says, he prided himself on paying his own medical bills.
That worked while he and his wife were relatively healthy. But after 10 days of an unrelenting headache, Lang went to the emergency room on Feb. 25. He says he was told he’d suffered several mini-strokes. He ran up $9,000 in bills and exhausted his savings. Meanwhile, his vision worsened and he can’t work, he says.
And here's where this is all Obama's fault.
Lang, a Republican, says he knew the act required him to get coverage but he chose not to do so. But he thought help would be available in an emergency. He and his wife blame President Obama and Congressional Democrats for passing a complex and flawed bill.
“(My husband) should be at the front of the line because he doesn’t work and because he has medical issues,” Mary Lang said last week. “We call it the Not Fair Health Care Act.”
The only portion of South Carolina Medicaid that Lang currently qualified for covers checkups and family planning. His current ophthalmologist is offering to give him shots which help with his retinal bleeding for free, but what he needs is extensive, and expensive, procedures by a specialist to retain his eyesight.
If I were less sympathetic to his situation I might suggest he take a trip to
Kansas Kentucky and have a little talk with Opthalmologist/Senator Rand Paul, but that might result in his having to listen to a lecture about how he would be conscripting the Senator into "Slavery" by his need for care.
So perhaps he should instead continue on his current course with a GoFundMe Page which as Congressman Paul Ryan suggests it is only through giving and charity that people in need should be taken care of so as to not by fall victim to the soft, coddling, condescending arms of the government..
In a speech before a partisan crowd at Cleveland State University on Wednesday, Rep. Paul Ryan pitched a private charity-based strategy for fighting poverty, saying that top-down, government anti-poverty programs have created a “debilitating culture of dependency wrecking families and communities.”
The Republican vice presidential nominee, standing onstage before a row of flags in the music building’s plush auditorium, said, “We’re still trying to measure compassion by how much government spends, not by how many people we help escape from poverty.”
And when Paul said "debilitation culture of dependency" I'm certain he was picturing someone like Luis Lang. Yep, I'm just certain that's who he was thinking about.
Never mind the fact that besides repeatedly voting to repeal Obamacare and all of it's Medicaid expansion while significantly cutting it's coverage using block grants, privatizing Medicare and increasing it's cost by 15-17%, Congresman Paul during his Vice-Presidential run beside Mitt Romney put forward a plan to cap the tax deduction for charitable contributions at $17,000.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan proposed a simple solution to the tax code that called for a lower rate, but with a cap on deductions of $17,000.
There were no exceptions—including charitable deductions. Nonprofits were outraged, saying the limits on charitable giving, which the Congressional Budget Office said ranks among the largest categories of personal deductions, would kill donations.
Fortunately, since they lost the election that idea didn't become the law, and people have even more incentive to visit and give to Mr. Lang's GoFundMe Page
which states he needs between $13,000 and $30,000 for his procedures. [As I type this he's raised $685 so far, even though this story is getting quite a bit of coverage from what I can tell]
Hopefully not too many of those people will feel compelled to temper their donations because of Mr. Lang's own lack of personal responsibility since he 1) refused to sign up for a private plan when required to do so by law, 2) Mr. Lang is a smoker, and 3) Mr. Lang by his on account failed to take proper care to keep up with his diabetes.
Perhaps those who might be inclined to donate to his GoFundMe Page will not hold any of that against him, and will not consider that he very likely voted for the State Legislature members who in turn blocked the Medicaid expansion that would have paid for the care he desperately needs.
Perhaps some people will look beyond his unfounded jabs at the President whose primary goal was to help the exact problem he finds himself in, while his conservative legislators and governor Nikki Haley did nothing but block and obstruct those efforts out of partisan spite. Perhaps they will find that compassion for your fellow man in dire circumstances shouldn't be subject to a litmus test of having the "proper" party affiliation, gender, orientation, age, race, or lack of prior responsible planning for the future.
Perhaps they should just forget all that and simply listen to his doctor.
For Lang’s doctor, the overwhelming feeling is frustration at knowing that one of his patients could lose his sight for lack of a way to pay for care that’s readily available in modern American society.
“That’s probably the worst thing that can happen to someone outside of death,” Edwards said. And he added that if Lang doesn’t get help now, he’s likely to end up dependent on the government: “It’s extremely costly to let a person go blind.”
So in reality, spending a little now to help people such as Mr. Lang can perhaps prevent much more spending by the state as he becomes far more dependent on it's services. Also, some things - like actual compassion
-are more important this which party you belong too.
Also he has a GoFundMe Page, perhaps we should share that information, even with his fellow Conservatives.
10:53 AM PT: Brainwrap has a pretty blistering take on this, and I sympathize with it - but I wanted to take a different tack. Yes, this man is in many ways the architect of his own misfortune, but I would hope that some of us would be able to recognize that even when someone may stumble on their own, they just might sometimes be the ones who need a helping hand the most. Yeah, he did the wrong thing but the proper punishment is to learn to do better, not blindness, anymore than the proper punishment for Michael Brown and the cigarillos certainly shouldn't have been the loss of his life. No, these situations aren't equal to each other, but IMO we don't need to condemn the man, only his misguided actions.
1:29 PM PT: Just as an aside, I was sitting in an emergency room with my wife waiting to be seen - 6 hours and counting at that point without being seen by anyone - when I wrote this. I had to go to work, but she's still there with abdominal pain. This guys is now up to $1,800 and it's very clear most of that money is coming from Liberals and boy are they pissed at his selfishness. Even the ones that just leave a comment and don't give any money are scathing. He may not listen, or be capable of listening to what they're saying, but they are saying it very deftly.
2:36 PM PT: Some of the juiciest comments.
I want to donate enough to really help you out, but I can't figure out how to get GoFundMe to accept bootstraps
If only there was some type of program that would allow people to pay money into a pool even if they were healthy so that if the time ever came when they would need it, they would not have to worry about losing evetrything they worked for. Maybe they could even have a preexisting condition and not have to worry about it being covered. Oh, and if they couldn't afford the premium, maybe the state they live in could expand medicaid so it it can help them afford it. A subsidy, if you will. If that was offered by the Federal Government to states it would be CRAZY for the states to deny that to their citizens. Yeah, if only.
You're lucky liberals have a bleeding heart. Looks like they are the only ones interested in helping you overcome the consequences of your selfishness and stupidity. Remember that next time you vote.
I'm donating to you because I want you and your wife to have a happy and successful life. I also hope that you realize now that by not having insurance and choosing to pay out of pocket until catastrophe strikes, has really hurt you in the long run. You chose to have a nice house, your wife chose to not work, and you chose to gamble by not having insurance. That is not any politicians fault- that was your choice. I hope you can earn the funds you need and can get insurance for your family for the future. I wish you the best.
Good sir I hope you take in well the lesson being bestowed upon you. Those who taught you to judge and vote to deny assistance to others are nowhere to be found in your time of need. Though you denied yourself the opportunity to help yourself when insurance was available to you, the people who voted to make that service available to you are still stepping up to help in whatever way they can. Things are tight for my family this month, we are preparing for another military move, but I hope this $10 gets you a little bit closer to saving your eyesight. You are important and so is your health. Best wishes.
Hi Luis. Politics aside, no one should have to lose their sight and their livelihood. The ACA isn't perfect, but the US DOES need some sort of health care safety net for people just like you, even if it means your tax dollars paying for someone else's healthcare. We are all Americans and we should all take care of each other. Good luck and God bless - another compassionate lib.
So let's see... you were inconsistent with taking your diabetes medication and too cheap to get medical care, so you're faulting Obamacare because you're too lazy to enroll? The fact is, if you had enrolled before the cut off date, you would be covered now, so you are solely responsible for your problems. You're also incredible immature and stupid for not taking responsibility for your health. BTW, all of your tea bagging buddies would tell you to just go die because you wouldn't take any responsibility for yourself, that you're a lazy good-for-nothing who expects other people to float the bill. You sicken me. But thankfully, I've got insurance and can see my doctor.
Don't blame Obamacare, blame your state for being cruel to it's residents. I wish you luck.
Call Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush... they have plenty of money... explain to them how you feel about Obamacare and I bet they will pay for your surgery.
Better hurry up and file for disability now before the Republican's tear that down after using up all its money for other things. Sucks to be sick and none of you Republican cronies give a crap don't it?
I gave all my money to pizza girl in Indiana.
2:55 PM PT: $2185 in contributions so far.
3:19 PM PT: $2335
4:42 PM PT: More comments:
As a progressive who worked on getting the ACA passed, I'm sorry that you're suffering like this. We did what we could to make sure this wouldn't happen to you, but Congress was not ready to implement Medicare For All or a Single Payer system. It sounds like you were misled by the very well-funded propaganda campaign that attempted to discredit the ACA. I hope you will use your newfound fame to challenge that propaganda and educate people about the value of health insurance and social safety nets. You probably qualify for Social Security Disability, which includes Medicare. It's not a hand-out, but a benefit you've been earning with your Social Security taxes your entire career. It has saved many people in similar situations. If the paperwork is a hassle (especially when mostly blind), you should get help from a social worker. They're experts at navigating the system and getting you the care you need.
I would leave a snarky comment about how your pigheadedness and personal irresponsibility has landed you in this mess, but you wouldn't be able to read it. But this gay atheist Democrat still has a soft spot for softheaded fools like you, so here's five bucks. I wish you luck; you're going to need it.
I'm a Libtard from California. If I was black, too , I'm sure I'd be your worst possible nightmare.... if I moved in next door to you. Here's my 20 bucks. I hope get better! And, that in the future, you find the self discipline needed to take better care of yourself. I will continue to vote in favor of programs that benefit people in my community and my country. People like you, Luis.
My father-in-law didn't manage his diabetes even though he had the resources to do so, and yes, he lost his eyesight. I'd hate to see that happen to anyone. Please take better care of yourself. I wish you good health in the future.
Sorry to hear you've gotten yourself in such a terrible predicament. As a Christian and a Democrat I know that even people who bring it all on themselves deserve compassion. Once you have your surgery, please open your eyes and see the truth -- the ACA just makes sense. Without insurance you are, and always will be, dependent on the rest of us. Good luck.
From a recently insured, liberal, single mother of three who paid out of pocket for three child births and dragged my kids to to health care reform rallies to fight for the ACA, I wish for you to get the help you need. No one deserves to lack health care for any reason. No one can realistically afford medical expenses other than the extremely wealthy. But if everyone helps a little, no one has to be without. The ACA is not as good as universal health care or a single payer system would have been, but thanks to the ACA, you'll be able to get insurance at the next enrollment. Your case is trending on liberal sites as I'm sure you've noticed, and hopefully conservatives will help you too once they hear about your plight. Peace and healing to you. I loved David Ball's comment. I hope you contact him!
6:11 PM PT: Now at $3795.
As a liberal I think this is funny but it's really not. I hope you learned your lesson that just because you were told to hate Obama (our secret muslim jihadi president) that the ACA is actually meant to help people just like you. I am not here to gloat but only do what the Jesus would do and that is help the needy. Good luck on your campaign and I hope you get the care you need. Please pass the kindness along to others in need if you get the chance.
At first I had nothing nice to say about you but after some reflection my heart is breaking for you. You must feel so helpless. I know that feeling and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I donate because we are both Americans and I believe we should take care of our people. Everyone. All of us. You. From a progressive in Sin City, get well and many blessings to you.
Another card-carrying socialist who has compassion for others, even those who don't. You seem to be the typical selfish Republican voter who lacks compassion for others and the good sense to understand that the Republicans in power don't care about you, only their own bottom line. As I look at your pics with your cigarettes in your pocket and your granite counter, keep in mind that my donation comes from someone who is living on about $24K dollars per year. I wish I could afford a $300K home with granite counters. But, I have one thing you don't: compassion and the ability to care for others...even those who don't deserve it.
10:37 PM PT: Ok, wife has just now been finally wheeled in past the waiting room to see a doctor. We arrived at about 2:45 am this morning. It's 10:34 pm - so that's 20 hours wait time - just to be seen by the doctor. And actually as I type, that still hasn't happened yet, we're justing waiting in a different room. If not for ObamaCare, we would've gotten worse service and we know that because we've actually had 30+ hour waits in the exact same hospital, it has also sometimes been much better, this is frankly about average.
Meanwhile Mr. Lang's GoFundMe is up to $6,285.
10:59 PM PT: Docs here finally. Apologized for the wait, it's not normal - like I said before it used to be worse before the ACA.