By Jason Taylor
Finally, that death panel that Sarah Palin was always talking about has been identified. It is the Republican Congress.
The Republicans have lost their moral compass. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act is driven first and foremost by spite towards Obama and secondarily a desire to benefit the richest Americans, without any regard for the real medical and financial harm this will cause millions of Americans.
There is something sadistic and cruel in congresspeople and those who support them gleefully awaiting the repeal of Obamacare without having a proposal ready to be put up for a vote immediately. If the GOP has something better than Obamacare to propose — great — I’m all for it — I want lower insurance premiums, lower deductibles, the ability to keep my favorite doctor regardless of whether my insurance changes or my doctor accepts the reimbursements and the best quality care for the least money. I want all that! Sign me up and I don’t care what you call it! But — this is not what is being offered by the GOP.
Instead, they are sadistically repealing the Affordable Care Act without any clue of how to replace it nor how they can gut what they hate and keep what they don’t. I can’t even imagine the fear so many millions of families are facing not knowing whether they will have coverage, if their child’s diabetes will be deemed a pre-existing condition and not covered, if they get pregnant between jobs will they be covered and what will happen if a catastrophic illness befalls them or a loved one. There is something seriously wrong with our elected officials and those that voted for them if they think this is in any way humane, Christian or how citizens should treat each other in a civilized society.
Ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed into law years ago, Republicans in the House of Representatives have voted many times to repeal it. Not once, however, did they propose a workable alternative. Now that Republicans have the political ability to pass the repeal in both houses of Congress and with the incoming President, they still have, as yet, proposed NOTHING to replace it. NOTHING.
The Affordable Care Act is originally a Republican plan. By co-opting it instead of creating a single payer Democratic plan, I’m sure Obama thought he would get Republicans to buy in.
After 7 years the Republicans in Congress have utterly failed to propose any kind of plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and to ensure Americans. They still have no plan. The only thing they can agree on is that health insurance should be taken away from millions of American citizens who can least afford it, and the rest of us pay more. That is no “plan”. That is a failure of the highest order.
The Republicans were oh so eager to spout off about “Obamacare” this and “Obamacare” that in order to whip up those voters that were ready to jump on anything that would put the president in a bad light. The Republicans in Congress altered the “risk corridor” program payments under the Affordable Care Act so that insurance companies would be forced to leave the exchanges or to dramatically raise rates under the Affordable Care Act during the lead-up to the election. Then they turned around and used the very “rate increase crisis” they engineered to bad-mouth the president and the Affordable Care Act during the campaign. But now, where the rubber meets the road, these politicians are showing us they have only hate in their heart and no concern for helping their own citizens.
How is it that the party supposedly aligned with the teachings of Christ could be so heartless and cruel? It boggles the mind that the Christian right is okay with 20+ million people losing access to health care; that people like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are seen with big smiles on their faces every time they do something to gut programs for a wide array of Americans who REALLY need it; that heartless governors in 20+ states have refused the Medicaid expansion that has helped cover so many people in other states, thereby lowering the life expectancy for so many of their own constituents and thus undermining the Affordable Care Act, which is working better in, you guessed it, blue states that accepted the Medicaid expansion.
Since the media fell asleep on this issue (and many others) during the election, thereby causing people who somehow didn’t know better to vote for repeal by voting for Trump, will it at least now shout to the mountaintops how important the Affordable Care Act is? Will the media do a better job informing people about what it is instead applying this poll or that poll and asking breathlessly, “how will this affect the election!”? I sure hope so. Many lives depend on it, including those who think they won’t be affected by this — almost all of us will be affected by the Affordable Care Act someday.
Like it or not, sooner, rather than later, America will be forced to go to a single-payer healthcare system.
I will gladly say… about damn time.