So far, the Ebola Virus has only come up in urban areas. On the surface it may not seem like it, but that is really a good thing. If Ebola should raise its ugly head in rural America, I am afraid that a whole lot of people will die because of it. Over at Fox News, the hysteria machine is in full swing. They are complaining that Ebola is a terrible threat to us all. Of course, they are pointing their finger at the present administration.
One thing they are not talking about at Fox News, or anywhere else for that matter, is the danger that faces Rural America should Ebola ever show up there. You see, hundreds of hospitals in Rural America are closing their doors. They are shutting down their services to areas where there isn’t a big choice of medical treatment to begin with. Republicans in those areas are blaming “Obamacare” for the closures. They are partly correct.
The major reason Rural America is losing their hospitals is because these same Republicans have refused to expand Medicaid in their states. This refusal is in the face of not having to pay for the expansion for the first three years, and then only picking up ten percent of the costs after that. This refusal to expand Medicaid has resulted in millions of people going without health insurance.
As a result, a lot of hospitals, especially in Rural America have had to treat uninsured people pro bono. Meaning they don’t get any money for treating the poor. This has resulted in hospitals across the country, especially in Rural America, to lose money. As a result, they have no choice but to shutter their hospitals.
There are many places in rural areas where people need to drive up to 150 miles to get to a hospital. On top of that, most rural hospitals are not equipped to handle infectious diseases like Ebola. That means if Ebola creeps into Rural America, the treatment of the patients is questionable at best. Plus, since they are not equipped to handle such cases, there is a real possibility of the virus spreading due to lack of proper equipment and protocols.
What has been the Republican response to this very potential disaster? Nothing! The real terrible thing about this, is that their strongest base lives in Rural America. Yet they are doing nothing about it. The normal government agencies that could help Rural America are having a harder time helping because of all of the budget cuts that the Republicans have placed on them.
Furthermore, since many of Rural America are the people who have been most affected by the refusal to expand Medicaid in Red States, they are much more hesitant to go to the hospital if they should get a sudden rise in temperature, which is one of the first indicators that you may have Ebola. That means that they won’t drive the 150 miles to get to a hospital because they can’t afford the treatment.
If a major outbreak of Ebola should break out in the U.S., the Republicans who refused to expand Medicaid will be mostly responsible for it. These fear mongers are very willing to tell America that we face elimination from the virus, yet they are very willing to allow millions of their constituents to be exposed due to lack of health care.
Lack of affordable health care has always been a major contributor to the spread of infectious diseases. Because of political barbarity, millions of Americans still lack affordable health care. That has resulted in the closing of hundreds of hospitals, the lack of ability to prepare for such infectious disease outbreaks, and the very lives of people they are supposed to represent.
That is not just bad politics. It is criminal!