As I watch my health insurance melt away I wonder about how people can still be fighting over this. Do we want our friends, fathers, mothers, kids and others to be able to go to the doctor when they become ill?

Accessible healthcare for all is the only solution. In a blaze of orange the opioid addiction crisis was just declared a national emergency. No funds have been allocated. I doubt that blowing hot air on a national emergency will change anything.

The Affordable Care Act is far from good. I suffered under it for years as my premiums neared $900 per month. I had no preexisting condition and rarely needed a doctor but I made just a little too much salary to qualify for relief under the plan. Plus I’m old, set to fall apart like everyone else. Age is a pre-existing condition.

Now that I’m not making the big bucks I qualify for a taste of relief for the first time ever but that is set to end fast.

Our current system is not as bad as it was and needs to be improved, not destroyed. When the Affordable Care Act was debated and crafted the opposition was fierce. Obamacare was eviscerated and doomed to fail not because it was a bad idea, but because opponents wrecked it before it got started and then they crowed, “See, I told you it was never going to work.”

Now we are told that the Affordable Care Act is dead in the water and must be replaced with a system that puts insurance companies first and ordinary Americans last. Millions will lose their healthcare as the burden of providing a solution is passed to the states which are already struggling to provide infrastructure and education.

“No state in the country is going to have the money to make up the difference,” said Kathleen Sebelius, who served as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary for the Obama administration. Say what you will about her but she’s a smart lady who knows more than most of us about public health policy.

The goal should be to ensure (not insure) that all citizens have equal access to healthcare. Leaders should go into as many private meetings as they need to and not come out until that goal is accomplished. We should try it.

The latest House and Senate proposals may bring us more options but from what I’ve been seeing the options will cost us more and cover less. We may be able to get a cheaper plan but we’d better not get sick. There may be more choices but consider that they may not be affordable or helpful.

Sebelius called the latest Senate proposal “awful” and warned that the bill will especially harm our most vulnerable populations served by Medicaid. These populations may be out of healthcare but they’ll have plenty of freedom.

We all get sick and we are all going to die. Having compassion for all is common sense. We are all connected.

People are addicted to opioids, sick with cancer, obese beyond measure, smoking cigarettes, eating crappy food, sugared up and driving drunk. Early education, preventative care and a group effort would go a long way toward solving some of these entrenchments.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine notes that in 2015 more than 20,000 deaths were directly linked to prescription pain relievers. There were more than 54,000 deaths due to lethal overdoses. We are a sick society! People need help and without it they may die early. What a shame.

ABC news is reporting that the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse is against the latest proposed healthcare bill because, “the proposal will crush efforts to ending the opioid addiction epidemic.”

The news report also lists the American Academy of Pediatrics, America’s Essential Hospitals, American Medical Colleges, AARP, the trade association for Catholic Hospitals, the Catholic Health Association and many U.S. Doctor organizations as groups opposed to the bill with descriptors being used like “adamantly opposed,” “devastating” and “higher costs,” just to name a few.

It’s disheartening to know that we the people can’t agree on anything, even that grandma, grandpa, mom, dad and the kids should have a chance to see a doctor when they need to.

The people pushing healthcare reforms are monochromatic, wealthy and covered for life. They do not have the perspective that most of us do, yet they are charged with acting on our behalf. It’s like asking a vegan to cook you a steak — they don’t know how!

Big drug and insurance companies are banking on the politicians who are charged with “crafting” our healthcare legislation. People in wheelchairs are protesting at their legislative offices and being dragged away by security. Who are they going to listen to? The people in the wheelchairs or the ones with the checks? Drain the swamp!

Steve Skinner wishes you the best of health and hopes he doesn’t get a toothache. Reach him at