Former David Lee Roth Guitarist Jason Becker Says Proposed Healthcare Bill ‘Has Me Freaked Out’
Jason Becker, who played guitar on David Lee Roth's 1991 solo album A Little Ain't Enough, has spoken out against the proposed Senate healthcare bill.
"I usually stay out of politics, but people have asked me whether the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), if passed by the Senate, will affect me personally," he says in a post to his Facebook page. "I’m about music, not politics, but the fact is this one has me freaked out for poor and disabled people."
Becker was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, while he was working on the Roth album. Eventually he was left unable to move and to speak due to the motor-neuron affliction. He is able to communicate using a system where he blinks his eyes. He is also able to compose new music in this manner and with the aid of a computer.
"I have survived ALS to continue my work as a musician and composer for 28 years due to the care I receive through insurance and Medicaid," Becker continues. "Without these supports my family can flat out not manage my care and my life and career will be in serious jeopardy. When President Trump promised we would get better, cheaper healthcare that would fix the problems of the Affordable Care Act, I hoped it was true. Unfortunately, the American Healthcare Act promises giant cuts to the programs that I and every other poor, sick and disabled person have relied on for our lives."
"The Medicaid per capita block grants to states will mean bluntly that people with costly needs like mine will be too expensive to cover. The removal of limits on insurance premiums means that people with expensive medical care needs can be priced out of the market. I would certainly be one of those affected. Lastly, insurance companies will not be required to cover basic services, such as hospitalization. This means, for example, the next time I get pneumonia I would not be able to afford the intensive treatment I would need to survive it."
The guitarist has continued to battle the disease, despite an initial prognosis which gave him at most five years to live. Facing his biggest obstacle since receiving the ALS diagnosis, Becker is pleading for his fans to contact their political representatives and ask them to stop the bill from passing.
"None of these reductions in benefits is offset by any other aspect of the bill," Becker says. "The only beneficiaries of these drastic cuts are the wealthy, who are set to receive a tax break if the bill passes. It breaks my heart that this country could forsake its own most vulnerable citizens in this way, placing no value on the lives of the poor and sick. So I am asking you: please call and email your senators right away, telling them you want them to stand up for those who can’t by demanding a better solution for American healthcare and voting against the AHCA as it is currently written."
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