By Jason Taylor
If anyone wonders how a dictatorship starts, they need only look at the United States. We have a President who demands expressions of loyalty from his sycophants and forces his Cabinet members to proclaim what a wonderful President he is — in front of the cameras. We have an Attorney General who refuses to answer questions under oath and who definitely has a memory problem. We have Republicans who work secretly to decide on a Health Care bill that will affect millions of people. All Americans — Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green — should be terrified at what’s happening in this country.
There is only one reason to hide the TrumpCare bill from the American people: the bill is too cruel and shameful to withstand public scrutiny.
Right now the AARP, the American medical association, the American nurses association, American college of physicians, united national physicians alliance, association of American physicians and surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, the American hospital association, groups representing children’s hospitals and psychiatric hospitals and Catholic hospitals, patient advocacy groups, health insurers and lobbyists, and the American people all pretty much hate the Republican AHCA. So, I understand why they are doing this behind closed doors. But a wise person once said that people forget who gave them health insurance but they will have no problem remembering who took it away.
Obamacare was bad because it did not go far enough into truly making healthcare accessible and affordable to the entire population but it was better than nothing. Republicans intend to dismantle everything and leave us worse off, which seems to be the Republican specialty. It is nauseating to watch all these Republicans in office defending the indefensible and brazenly ransacking the country while no one seems willing to make effective opposition.
Not content to set the Wall Street wolves free to bring the world’s economy to its knees again by repealing the few constraints we managed to impose on those psychopaths, Mitch McConnell is going to fulfill his lifelong dreams to protect the healthcare insurance industry at the expense of US citizens. And Trump supporters will not only look away, they will dig their heels in and become even more vocal about the great job he is doing. (They must have loved the bizarre Cabinet meeting Trump held.)
They have already forgotten the Great Recession, which they probably blame on Obama. They will suffer the consequences of losing their healthcare coverage and promptly forget, or never realize, who did it to them.
So we face the prospect of crashing markets and a healthcare crisis simultaneously We know it’s only a matter of time before Wall Street figures out a way to loot the world. Just how long will it take for health care (or the lack of it) to bring on a national crisis? It’s probably equal to the amount of time it takes ignorant people to forget who did this.
Stop and think about how this is supposed to work. The Senate leadership springs this abomination of a bill on the full Senate on a day of their choosing. It is a ‘reconciliation’ bill so is not subject to a filibuster so they only need 50 plus one votes to pass it and send it back to the House. The House will then vote for it by a very narrow margin and on to the White House for Trumpolini to sign it into law.
The opportunities here to stop the bill are few. And will take massive public outrage to throw a spoke in the wheels. That should start now for the reactionary senators that will mostly vote to pass this mess. Perhaps huge demonstrations in their home states will get their attention. Maybe not. The Grand Old Pirates all hope that this will be forgotten by the fall of 2018. If so they will be off the hook.
It will take all of us over many months to stop this travesty from taking place. If they manage to pass it into law it will take more than just the off-year elections to turn it around. Even if the Democrats use this issue successfully to win back the House & Senate it is unlikely to be by veto-proof margins. Thus a major campaign issue for 2020. Over the long haul, this mean and destructive health care battle will probably kill the Republican party as we know it. But it will take many years.
Democrats, if you want to win elections in 2018, hear me on this issue. Don’t cede an inch to legislation that makes us less secure about our health; insist on correcting Obamacare’s deficiencies and be honest about recognizing what those are. Talk to as many median-income people as you can about their health-care needs and what kind of system (without stupid, prejudicial labels like “socialized medicine”) they think would work.
Democrats, you may not have the numbers to win now, but speak loudly on principle and with conviction. Build your case for the future on a just cause.