President Obama posted a heartfelt plea on Facebook asking legislators to rethink their support of the heinous Trumpcare bill and encouraging citizens to speak out. An excerpt:
I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did…
I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.
That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.
But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.
The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions.
Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.
Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.
He’s right. Toward the end of the essay, President Obama says, “this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be.”
That’s what worries me — that the “fundamental meanness” at the core of the GOP bill reflects the selfishness of Americans all too well.
I’ll make my daily calls, show up at meetings and continue to support candidates and programs that make people’s lives better — even stupid people who think the way to give “elites” the finger is to vote for a buffoon in a golden tower who craps in a golden toilet.
But at some point, the people who keep enabling this shit have to suffer the consequences. I’m not talking about morons like Trump, ghouls like Ryan or money-grubbing pricks like McConnell; I’m talking about the voters who put them office.
Maybe when they hit the lifetime cap on their crappy insurance plan, sell everything they own, alienate family members and friends with constant begging and their cancer-stricken child still dies because they can’t afford treatment, they’ll get it. Maybe when their dementia-riddled, incontinent grandmother is ejected from the assisted living facility for non-payment and dumped on their doorstep, they’ll understand.
Or maybe they’ll never get it. Maybe this really is who we are, and who we aspire to be — or enough of us to make those of us who hope for something better irrelevant. If we let these bastards get away with robbing millions of people of healthcare access, if they don’t pay with their jobs, I really don’t know how we can argue otherwise.