Thanks to Kay for bringing this up yesterday.
Republicans believe healthcare reform spells doom for the federal budget, private businesses and the U.S. healthcare system. They’re also enormously frustrated that the law has persevered through two elections and a Supreme Court challenge and believe a botched implementation could help build momentum for the repeal movement.
Some Republicans indicated to The Hill they will not assist constituents in navigating the law and obtaining benefits. Others said they would tell people to call the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
That does sound like an awkward position. On the one hand these guys hate Obama and want his achievements to fail, but on the other they have a certain obligation to help constituents navigate a law that they cannot make go away no matter how many times they swing their wiffle bats at it.
The GOP wants to tease this apart like some abstract problem in game theory, but it is not a game. Lack of coverage causes people to die in pain. Medical bankruptcies destroy families (there is that word again…) and cause a huge fraction of the mortgage foreclosures that are still dragging the American economy down. Poor Americans get enough punishment without having their health and livelihood jerked around by liars and bullshit artists.
As you can tell, this really pisses me off. Feel the same way? Let’s do something about it. It sounds like a big job to keep track of the how each GOP Rep dicks around his or her constituents, but there are a lot of you. I need to know how many of you live in GOP districts. Have a question about the ACA? Phone it in and then let us know what you hear. It will help if you have an real need that they could theoretically help with and you live in the district; Reps have no obligation to help others’ constituents.
Next we would need an accurate list of the real answers to these questions, preferably in plain language and specific to each state. If anyone can cite a good one in the comments I will link it in subsequent posts.
A Rep can only go a couple of ways with this. One, he or she could just try to help the constituent out. People who do their job like a grownup deserve to be noted and encouraged for it. Forwarding the caller to HHS or shrugging their shoulders both count as a non-response, in which case constituents deserve to know that their Rep either cannot or will not do his or her basic job. Outright liars, well, that is another story. I would not expect to find many Reps with the balls to openly sacrifice a specific constituents’ health and well being for a political point*, but we live in a different era now. Plenty of these nuts believe every word of their morning propaganda sheet. That sort of behavior deserves to be a story at least in the local media.
Does that sound like a plan? Is anyone in? Let me know what you think in the comments.
(*) Collective sacrifice, such as denying the Medicaid expansion, is ok for the same reason that insanely dangerous abortion bills sell better than intervening in the personal matters of of Michael and Terri Schiavo.