By Jason Taylor
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a “long game” of sorts by then President Obama. Knowing he couldn’t get all of Congress on board for what the true goal was “single payer” the Republicans did a “work around” and started dismantling Medicaid on state levels which cause insurers to drop out of some states. And low and behold the “ACA doesn’t work!” Even insurers and doctors don’t like this… they need Medicaid to help with costs, but it is medieval times ahead for us instead.
And Don’t tell the American people that single payer is not an option. Every first world country in the world has some variant of single payer, except the USA. Some also have optional top offs for the wealthier citizens and that’s OK. Otherwise, what would be the incentive to work hard and succeed? The problem in the USA is not money… it’s priorities of how we want to spend the money.
A single-payer, universal healthcare system has been and always will be the most efficient, cost-effective healthcare system with the best health outcomes. If Republicans were really interested in providing all of our citizens with health care they would put aside their ideology that the federal government should never be involved in a program like health care and join Democrats in developing universal health care. If you look at the various types of universal healthcare currently adopted by other industrialized countries, you won’t find a single one that is a 100% marked-based system. Why? The free market can’t provide such a system. The government, preferably at the federal level, must be involved to some degree to coordinate and fairly apply such a program.
This is a gift to the wealthy. Cut $800 billion from healthcare. Devastate the job market and local economies and make sure that wage growth and inflation don’t happen. Plus they get a reduction in their capital gains rate. In 2009 a study found that a person without health insurance has a 40% increased risk of dying. That is about 1000 preventable deaths per year for every 1 million people without health insurance. This is economic terrorism visited on Americans by their own government.
I don’t know which is worse: the fact they’re essentially killing Medicaid, the one program whose beneficiaries can’t fight back or the fact they’re handing that money to wealthy people who don’t need it. The GOP claims this serves their philosophy of limited government and because they have an obsession with “Obamacare.” But what they’re really doing is using the ACA as a piggy bank to give money to rich people.
Look, I’m no socialist. But I do believe in a safety net. Medicaid currently covers 75 million people, through a joint federal-state partnership. It’s been that way for more than 50 years. You can’t just radically throw these people under the bus without signaling that children, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor don’t matter.
Seventy-five million people — just think of it. Restructured to lower more and more costs over time, and throwing the burden on cash-strapped states. Poor kids. People in nursing homes. Mitch McConnell and his band of zealots so hate the poor and disabled they don’t even hide it anymore. This new legislation is deeply personal for them. And the sick part is that after this, they move on to tax reform, with yet more tax cuts for their donor pals.
It is baffling that our country has not acknowledged what every other civilized nation has come to accept….That healthcare is as essential as food water and shelter. The healthcare industry is an out of control marketplace. Our government should stand up for the people to ensure this fundamental service.
Someone should ask Mitch McConnell why access to care or the quality of care should depend on where an individual lives. Two individuals, one living in Kansas, the other in Oregon or Tennessee diagnosed with Lupus or cancer, or with high blood pressure or HIV, or who simply breaks an arm or finds out the pregnancy test is positive need the same access to the health care system and the same care from their doctors — whether rich or poor, employed or not. So why do Congressional Republicans want to craft a health care system that ignores this truth? To give a HUGE tax break to the 1%. That’s why.
And the big surprise is what, exactly? While brutal and unfair and imbalanced, the bill represents what the GOP has come to stand for: a mean-spirited, low-grade civil war against the poor, especially the urban poor now broadened to include the rural poor. Come on folks, the GOP thrives because of a white, fairly poorly-educated base that believes Breitbart is the source of all wisdom and the president is as near to a savior as we shall find.
It’s easy to bamboozle the masses. The poor, whatever their origin, are anathema to our Senators and Representatives and must slowly, quietly be eliminated from the scene, what better way to do that than to systematically dismantle key programs that might keep them alive and reasonably healthy. The ultimate irony is that by shifting the burden to the States, rich states may be able to sustain some level of care; those rich States are mostly Democratic: New York, California, New England. The deep red States which will never be able to afford the new health policy will suffer most, but hey, we’ve already established those populations are disposable. This isn’t about GOP and Democrats, it is about who we have become as a people and as a nation… and it ain’t good.
Our health is our most precious possession. Everyone should have access to healthcare. We are so shortsighted. Putting caps on healthcare is like putting caps on help for natural disasters. Zika, flu pandemics, even heat waves can require extraordinary medical responses. We have to be ready to meet all situations. A tax cut for the rich is not going to help the wealthy live one day longer. People confuse material wealth with immortality. We pass through this world but once.
Too many politicians are using their positions to create power and wealth for themselves, to the exclusion of those they ostensibly represent. How have we let our government employees, those who work for us, turn public service into an individual means of self-promotion and aggrandizement?
Maybe it’s just time to face the fact that millions of Americans do NOT want universal health care. They want tax cuts for the rich while millions of Americans will return to the days when they could not afford healthcare. They want to return to the days when insurance companies could deny coverage for preexisting conditions or sell policies that cover next to nothing. They want to return to the days when health care costs were the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. The want rural hospitals to close and for poor urban communities to go without an emergency room nearby.
This is what the voters in Georgia 6th, Montana, Kansas, South Carolina, and any other state or congressional district that elects Republicans want. They want legislation crafted in secret and or passed without the members either reading the bill or having a CBO score as was the case with the House Bill.
We get what we vote for. We get the government that results when we do not bother to vote or vote for people who cannot win. We get the government we deserve.
This is the vision that the uber-Conservatives have for America. A harsh scrabble land for the poor and middle-class, a money cow for the wealthy to milk. In our brave new Republican world, compassion is unAmerican.
Universal Healthcare is Not That Hard
Just look at all these countries that have it:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom