South Carolina Republican Refused Obamacare, Now Going Blind, Blames Barack Obama

| by Michael Allen
Obamacare Protest.Obamacare Protest.

Luis Lang, 49, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, is going blind because of a partially detached retina caused by his diabetes.

Dr. Malcolm Edwards, an ophthalmologist who examined Lang, told The Charlotte Observer, "He will lose his eyesight if he doesn’t get care. He will go blind."

Lang has never had health insurance, and prides himself on paying his medical bills.

Lang suffered headaches in February, went to an ER and was told by medical personnel that he had had several mini-strokes.

Lang's $9,000 bill depleted his savings. Now, he cannot work his handyman job because of his worsening vision.

Lang, a self-described Republican, refused to get health insurance through health insurance exchanges, under the program known as Obamacare, during the open enrollment periods.

For reasons unknown, Lang falsely believed that he could get Obamacare during an emergency, which has never been the case.

So now, Lang reportedly blames President Barack Obama and the Democrats who passed the Affordable Care Act and other laws.

Lang's wife told The Charlotte Observer last week, "(My husband) should be at the front of the line because he doesn’t work and because he has medical issues. We call it the Not Fair Health Care Act.”

The Langs didn't mention that President Obama originally wanted a public option for health care, which would have given Americans a government health care option similar to those Congress and most developed nations have.

While many states have expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, South Carolina's Republican Gov. Nikki Haley said in 2013 that the state “will not expand Medicaid. Ever,” noted The Wall Street Journal.

The Langs didn't mention Haley's obstruction of Medicaid.

Some South Carolina residents can qualify for subsidies to help pay their monthly insurance premiums, but they have to "earn between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level," reports The Post and Courier.

Even those subsidies will vanish if Republicans are successful in their lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. Supreme Court, noted The Washington Post.

If Haley had allowed Medicaid expansion, far more people would be covered with far fewer restrictions. There is a South Carolina Medicaid plan, but it only covers checkups and family planning.

The state's Department of Health and Human Services is trying to decide if Lang could possibly qualify for more health benefits through a vocational rehab program.

Edwards says Lang "is in a very bad situation. The longer he waits, the poorer his results will be.”

While Edwards would do his eye work for free, Lang is going to need surgery and follow-ups from a retinal surgeon.

Sources: The Charlotte Observer, The Post and Courier, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post
Image Credit: Marc Nozell/Flickr