New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took to social media on Saturday to announce that he has a tumor on his kidney saying “Over 50,000 New Jerseyans will hear the worlds “You have cancer”. Having been diagnosed with bladder cancer in December I was able to put political differences aside and sympathize with Murphy – until I realized he was politicizing his cancer diagnosis and making his announcement a commercial for the Affordable Healthcare Act.
I haven’t talked much about it on the Informed Conservative but I was diagnosed as being in kidney failure in March of 2019. It is because of that diagnosis that I get regular blood and urine tests. After one of those tests in December the doctor was concerned, did a scope and discovered I had bladder cancer. I had surgery in December to remove the tumor and another surgery in January after pathology showered there were still cancer cells in my bladder. I have a consultation whit my doctor this coming week and anticipate starting treatments. I haven’t talked about it here in an attempt to not politicize or gain sympathy for two very serious medical diagnosis in less than a year. I would have been perfectly justified in doing so since my medical condition is the reason I have not written regular articles or done regular podcasts as I intended but decided to keep it private.
I get that Murphy is the Governor of New Jersey and as Governor felt an obligation to make his condition and anticipated long absence from state government public. Reading Murphy’s announcement I remembered the moment the Doctor told me that the tumor he removed from my bladder was cancer. I remembered the shock and pain I felt. I remembered being thankful that my two children are successful adults who while they would undoubtedly miss their Dad would continue their successful lives without me if my prognosis was not good. That is until I continued reading and realized that Murphy was politicizing his announcement and making it a commercial for the ACA.
Murphy has made no secret that he opposes President Trump and Republicans in Congress trying to fix the disaster that is the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare). He announced in March that New Jersey will move to a state-based healthcare exchange beginning in 2021. Murphy claims the move is to protect New Jerseyans from the “sabotage” of Obamacare by President Trump and Republicans in Congress. At a time when healthcare has become a crisis across the country Murphy’s move will further entrench the failed ACA in New Jersey New Jersey has already reinstated the individual mandate requiring New Jerseyans have insurance or pay a penalty and prevents insurance companies from selling less expensive less comprehensive policies.
Governor Murphy is playing political partisan games with our healthcare and now even politicizing his own cancer diagnosis for political gain!
Obamacare has made healthcare unaffordable for employers and subscribers and has all but destroyed small businesses. I rarely make articles on this site about me but I will use myself as an example. I founded my consulting firm in 2005. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act I was able to go out to the competitive open market and shop for insurance or get on the group plans of professional organizations. None of that exists anymore. I now must go through the exchange. Healthcare for a family of five used to cost me under $10,000 per year including premiums, co-pays, deductibles and prescriptions prior to the Affordable Care Act becoming law. The policy I was forced to purchase on the exchange for 2020 will now cost me $35,000 in premiums, co-pays, deductibles and prescriptions for two people. Add to that an anticipated combined state and federal tax bill of around $35,000 and I will spend $70,000 in 2020 on healthcare and taxes before I pay for any other life sustaining expense such as food and housing!.
What Murphy fails to tell us is that it is only those who can financially afford healthcare in a post-Obamacare world that get the privilege of an early diagnosis and treatment such as in the case of both Murphy and myself. Where might Murphy be without his generous state funded healthcare plan? Where might I be if I couldn’t afford the $35,000 my healthcare will cost this year?
I don’t hold Republicans blameless. While Republicans held both the House and Senate they failed to come up with a better plan. We are stuck in a national healthcare crisis caused by Democrats in 2020, that Republicans failed to fix in 2017 and that Governor Murphy is making worse for New Jerseyans.
Despite my anger and disappointment at Murphy politicizing his cancer diagnosis as one man who has been diagnosed with cancer to another my thoughts are with the Governor and will say a prayer for his full and complete recovery.
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