By Jason Taylor
Now it gets real. After almost a decade of harping about the Affordable Care Act to please their know nothing base and the fatcats that hate taxes its crunch time. And to no surprise to anyone they have no alternative and no guts to go through with their rhetoric of the last several years. With every week of blunder atop blunder the public, even their supporters, are beginning to see what a bunch of stuffed shirts the Grand Old Pirates are. It’s only about greed and selfishness with these guys.
Republicans are only now discovering: it’s much harder to build something than to tear it down. Republican lawmakers have — apparently without self-reflective irony — campaigned for decades on the uselessness of government and signed pledges that they would drown government to death in a bathtub when given the chance. (Look it up — they all signed this.) Well, you are the government now, boys. You are it. It’s either suicide or comes up with a constructive plan that actual builds, improves, supports. It’s called governing, and all healthy, prosperous societies do it.
While it has been clear for many decades that the GOP could not care less whether or not the roughly 1/6 of our population who were uninsured before the ACA have access to affordable health care coverage — or access to health care, for that matter — the dirty little secret of the GOP’s obsession with repealing the ACA is even more sinister.
The GOP is most offended by the mechanism for funding the Medicaid expansion, which includes subjecting all income above certain thresholds to the Medicare tax. That includes the capital gains, dividends and interest that are the source of income for the wealthiest among us. Repeal would result in an average tax cut of $7million for each of the 400 families with the highest income — which averages $300million/year for each family. So, repealing the ACA would result in a massive tax cut for the rich. That’s the GOP’s real motivation.
Obamacare can only be improved by going all-in with a single payer solution. The European countries provide health care for a citizen’s right to everybody from birth to death. It is financed through taxes. This gives the lowest per capita cost for the whole nation.
Let us look at Australia, they have the same heath care quality as you can get here in America, but the per capita cost is about 50 percent less. — They have no “preconditions” to worry about. And the care of a broken finger and a heart transplant costs the same for the patient. Nothing.
The scariest part of all this is the potential move to end funding for mental health. If we don’t care for mental health in the medical area, it will continue to clog the judicial and penal systems. Have we learned nothing from the acts of mass killings, suicides, and domestic violence to understand that mental health issues are woefully under-treated in this country? Not to mention, the large percent of homeless people who suffer from mental illness. When will we stop cutting off our noses to spite our faces?
The Republicans want this really simple plan called NoCare. They would get rid of Medicare if they could. They cling to an absurd belief that an unfettered medical marketplace would bring costs down. The only thing that would happen is that sick people would die.
Advanced countries have universal health coverage for their citizens, cradle to grave. The health outcomes are better, and costs are lower. Republicans refuse to believe it, study it, or address it.
Republicans have been screaming and demanding the repeal of “Obamacare” for political reasons since its passage. No serious discussion was ever offered as to what it would be replaced with because contemporary Republican conservatism is not a serious intellectual endeavor. Now, with the power to repeal the law, things like mathematics and other harsh concepts of reality expose Republicans for the shameless political opportunists they are.
It is pathetic, yet gratifying to watch conservatives writhe and squirm in a political fire of their own creation.