Why the Democratic response, or anyone’s response for that matter, to the Republican’s version of so-called healthcare, hasn’t been to directly call them out on it is baffling to me. It is so transparently not a “healthcare” plan. It is simply a repeal of those taxes on the wealthy that primarily funds Obamacare. Once those taxes are eliminated, there is nothing to be done but eliminate virtually everything else in the plan.
Republicans are being allowed to get away with claiming that they are replacing Obamacare with something much better – much fairer, even if all of the facts clearly show that they are not. But they are being allowed to continue that narrative almost unchallenged. What a complete load of horse manure. They kept telling their supporters for years that when given the chance, they would eliminate the vile Obamacare. But when it came to doing it, they had absolutely no clue how to replace it with anything that would be even close to satisfying to the American public, much less even their own party. So screw it. We’ll just repeal it so we can say “Look, we did what we promised.”
That does not even address the total hypocrisy of their fearless leader. He initially got a foothold on setting himself apart from the pack of other Republican candidates by claiming to want a good, inexpensive healthcare system for all, and to never even think of touching Medicare and Medicaid. That was so clearly just another bait-and-switch that he played on people who were eager to believe anything he said in order to get their vote. Yet, to this day, with all of the other continuing evidence, day after day, that Trump said everything to everybody in order to get their vote and had no intention whatsoever of even making a show of trying to follow through, people still continue to support him and blame everyone else but him for his failures … or they just simply delude themselves that no failures have even occurred. In that, they mirror Trump quite precisely.
Instead of waiting until the 2018 elections, there ought to be ads right now hammering away at how monumentally hypocritical is almost everything is that is being said by Republicans in regard to their healthcare plan. Every time Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan says anything about this process of creating and pushing through this repeal, there ought to simply be side-by-side comparisons of what they both said in 2009 versus what they are saying about exactly the same thing now. People may be aware of that intuitively, but they need to be smashed in the face with it for he reality of it to sink in.
About the only thing that is different now, is that when then speaker John Boehner held up the Democratic healthcare plan in 2009 and opined “Oh … my … God.” The Republican plan certainly is not that big. Funny how something just intended to totally eliminate something that went before it can be so much smaller than the actual plan they are intent on repealing.
The tired refrain that Obamacare is dying on its own is equally as hypocritical and self-righteous. Sure, complain that everyone is going to die of thirst while you are simultaneously denying everyone access to water.
Let’s be clear. There are deliberate actions being taken to ensure that premiums will continue to be higher and that more and more insurers will leave the insurance exchanges. The Obamacare system was a start, and one that began to address some fundamental needs in this country, but it was only a start. It was also handcuffed from the start by hundreds of amendments that were added to the original legislation by Republicans knowing they would never support it regardless of how many of their amendments got added. But many of those amendments have helped lay the groundwork for some of the problems we are experiencing now.
Of course, with their legislation (and it sickens me to even call it that), there won’t be any time to add significant amendments to it. The word hypocrisy looms its ugly head once again. Republicans railed about the Democrats rushing through their legislation in about a year’s time, but now they say a week is enough time to review their plan, and perhaps less than a day is enough to vote on amendments? Give me a damn break.
The reality is that there actually is not much to amend in their legislation anyway. Since the plan is fundamentally repeal only, how do you amend that other than to just say “Don’t $^%$ing repeal it!”
Obamacare needs to be built upon and certainly improved. Those states that even before were down to just a few, or only one, provider need to have that issue addressed. In addition, because of the meddling of this administration, there are now many more states, or at least areas within states, that are down to only one provider now as well because the insurers are not at all certain they will be receiving any sort of compensation for participating in the exchanges. That clearly needs to be addressed. But when one half of the elected body thinks that nothing should be done to improve healthcare – just that all government funded healthcare needs to be eliminated entirely – well that leaves us squarely where we are right now.
Interesting how our economy has not gone in the tank since those initial taxes to finance healthcare, on those making more than $200,000/year, were implemented back in 2010. Well, whatda you know. Almost every indicator in the economy has consistently gone in the right direction since the steps were taken in the first years of the Obama administration to get things back on track from the looming precipice we found ourselves in 2008.
The effort to not only repeal those healthcare taxes and to also make additional tax cuts in reforming the tax code, in the name of fairness, is a joke. How often does “trickle down” need to be discredited before everyone just laughs derisively whenever it is even mentioned. Now Democrats share the blame quite equally, if not sometimes even more so, when it comes to how the money that is currently collected in taxes is used. That also needs to be addressed, and needs to be addressed a lot more seriously than just reciting the tired old refrain “We have to reduce waste” and then never doing anything about it.
But healthcare cannot solely be funded upon the backs of the wealthy. I doubt that any other nation in the world with universal healthcare has been able to fund it without a contribution from all elements of their society. It is an entitlement program – deal with it. People are entitled to have decent, affordable healthcare. People are entitled to not have to choose between living or dying, either for themselves or for their loved ones, based upon their ability to afford, or to even get healthcare.
It has to be paid for by someone and should be paid for by anyone who is in a position to do so. If the wealthy are asked to contribute more, then so be it. God knows they benefit disproportionately every day from their wealth – regardless of whether that wealth was accumulated fairly or not. Additional taxes are not going to prevent them from buying one more yacht, or having to downsize on one of their alternate homes. But those additional taxes, used wisely, may mean the difference between life and death, or to complete financial ruin, to hundreds of thousands of Americans.
That is not even a choice. It is an obligation for being a part of the human race.