The “decider” has decided to screw each and every person with pulmonary disease with what appears to be a “who cares” attitude. The headline above, taken from an American Lung Association news release, tells it all. As a matter of fact, for the boomers coming on board who haven’t yet, or are just beginning to feel the effects of lung disease, you should be furious.
If this provision never becomes law, then those of you who may someday become victims of lung disease, will have to do without rehab when you reach Medicare age.
Congress overwhelmingly approved the Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Act, which, among other things, would make life easier for Americans who suffer from lung disease. This, you say, may not tie into environmentalism, but think again; coal smoke, smoking, second-hand smoke, pollutants in the air, all add to lung disease, and heaven knows we’ve had a century of air pollution pouring into our lungs. It isn’t over yet.
What the president has done is remove the possibility of relief from debilitating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), for anyone who has breathed and suffered from the polluted air this administration and others before it have failed to do anything about. And while hundreds, even thousands of people are moving forward toward cleaner air, this administration continues to block help for those who are afflicted.
Many COPD sufferers smoked cigarettes for many years; others were subjected to second-hand smoke, coal smoke and other dangerous pollutants cast into the atmosphere by manufacturing firms and a host of other sources. Whether by choice or situation, COPD patients deserve better.
The Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Act ensures that older Americans in all states would have access to pulmonary rehabilitation treatment as a covered benefit through Medicare. It helps control or reduce breathlessness and reconditions the body so that people with COPD would benefit with less need for medications and fewer hospital stays, leading to a longer, better quality of life.
Of course, the other side of the story is cutting down on health care costs. Fewer medications and trips to the doctor and hospital would take a load off of an already stressed system.
The American Lung Association is asking everyone to write to or communicate with their representatives in Congress to override the president’s veto.
No word yet from the president on why he vetoed the measure. I’m sure it’ll be some earth-shattering double-speak. Stay tuned.
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