Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 25 Mar 2017 12am

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    Friday, March 24, 2017-8:03:57P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

NMI must tighten up its financial belt

WITH the local economy improving, lawmakers must save up for the financial impact they may face in healthcare or environmental issues if federal funding is slashed across the board. The CNMI must have a contingency plan.

The cuts alone that could be imposed on EPA would affect the CNMI’s ability to enforce environmental laws and might result in government job losses. Healthcare issues would also hurt CNMI families. The CNMI must watch its spending now.

In the healthcare fight, the big winners will be the GOP-affiliated insurance companies, but doctors, hospitals and the nurses are fighting back including the U.S. Democrats.

Watch out in case pharmaceutical companies hike prices that will hurt Medicaid or Medicare patients. The GOP healthcare plan favors the rich over the poor.

The insurers will have the power to refuse to pay your hospital stay or for your medications, and patients like me may have to shoulder the high cost of medications. I had been denied insurance so I moved to Arizona just to get healthcare insurance. But I heard about two patients in Arizona who, a few years ago, needed an operation but it was blocked by an insurance company so they died.

So if you voted for the GOP then you may have to face death if your insurance refuses to help you because profits come first and death comes second.

I now worry about my wife because she may face such a predicament which is worse than what I had to go through because she has a mental illness and she is still in the hospital and I am still fighting for her custody and guardianship so she can be moved back to the Portland mental health facility where her healthcare insurance can provide her with better options. The Oregon state hospital is very expensive.

If the CNMI gets hit with SNAP and similar other federal programs, those who are very sick and who cannot work to help themselves or support themselves and their families will be harmed. We’re talking about CNMI families who rely on food stamps because they have no other way to support their family members who are sick.

Are CNMI lawmakers ready for the devastating impact on SNAP and other federal programs? CNMI lawmakers must come up with ways to help the poor, the sick and vulnerable families. It will be hard to buy food when you also have to buy medication to save your loved ones’ lives.

I would rather save my wife’s life more than mine because a husband is supposed to protect his wife. I am prepared to look at all options available within the U.S. including the Asian health community.

In closing, I don’t want CNMI families to freak out over my concerns. I just want our lawmakers to be financially ready when it comes to helping all our CNMI families. It’s the lawmakers’ responsibility and duty to protect our people’s way of life, like our ancestors protected us all.

JACK O. ROMOLOR
Portland, Oregon