Republicans Must be Punished for Lying about Health Care for Eight Years
by Egberto Willies –
Most progressives know that Republicans lied during the development of health care reform and after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). But when the GOP came up with their replacement plan, it turned out all the lies they told about Obamacare became the reality of what they were proposing. The cruelty of their ideology was finally on display for all to see, so much so that Trumpcare sank to a 17 percent approval rating.
Republicans have spent the last 30 or 40 years trying to replace this image of callousness toward the poor, callousness toward the elderly, with this idea of compassionate conservatism. That was whisked away over this process. There was a cruelty to this bill that was even apparent to conservative voters, to Republican voters who were shocked at the cruelty.
Obamacare brought Americans one step closer to having health care as a right. It meant “we the people” and our government finally wrote laws that were a bit more favorable to everyday citizens. Yes, we want a Medicare for all, single-payer system, but we are willing to crawl before we walk and, eventually, run.
It wasn’t good enough for Republicans that Obamacare was based on a more costly and less efficient conservative approach that is a product of the market-based insurance system. It was not good enough that the mandate was originally a conservative idea promoting personal responsibility. The reality is that Republicans never intended to have our government, or “we the people,” provide affordable health insurance—or for that matter, health care.
They lied to us, and they continue to lie. And we must punish these politicians for the effective murder they inflicted on thousands of Americans, the untold premature deaths caused by a lack of health insurance.
Josh Barro is a former Republican who left his party because of its leaders’ inherent dishonesty. He wrote a piece titled “Republicans lied about healthcare for years, and they’re about to get the punishment they deserve” that everyone should read.
For years, Republicans promised lower premiums, lower deductibles, lower co-payments, lower taxes, lower government expenditure, more choice, the restoration of the $700 billion that President Barack Obama heartlessly cut out of Medicare because he hated old people, and (in the particular case of the Republican who recently became president) “insurance for everybody” that is “much less expensive and much better” than what they have today.
They were lying. Over and over and over and over, Republicans lied to the American public about healthcare. It was impossible to do all of the things they were promising together, and they knew it. Then they unexpectedly won an election and had to face the question of whether they would break all of their promises — or only some of them.
But it did not end there. Barro points out that it is always easy for Republicans to lie about health care, because they simply give it little thought.
The difference on healthcare is that Republicans never had an ideology about it. So they were willing to lie, and there are two facts about the healthcare debate that a liar can exploit quite effectively until he is actually expected to make policy. People are always upset about how much healthcare costs, and healthcare is very complicated, so it is hard for voters to tell whether a politician is actually able to keep his or her promises about it.
Barro ends the piece with a few words that encapsulate the fraud perpetrated by Republicans on their constituents.
Through the years, healthcare experts on the right have allowed themselves to be used as window dressing for a party that was never actually interested in taking their policy advice. The experts would write white papers about conservative approaches to health care. Republican politicians would indignantly wave the white papers around and insist that they had not only one plan for healthcare but many plans, and they involved high-risk pools and selling insurance across state lines and something-something patient-centered mumble mumble mumble and whatever was in the paper was going to be way better than Obamacare.
Ryan even developed an undeserved reputation as a healthcare “wonk.” But those white papers were always just paper. The plans described in them were never going to be implemented by an actual Republican government, which would not be interested in paying for the plans the papers described. The only thing Republicans ever intended to use them for was indignant waving. It was all a lie. And the lie is finally about to be punished.
Trumpcare, aka Paul Ryan’s Affordable Health Care Act, was one of the most evil pieces of legislation ever written. How do you look into the eyes of your constituents, a large percentage of them who are on Obamacare, and tell them a plan from which billions of dollars were gutted could possibly be less expensive and more beneficial?
Obamacare is no longer underwater in the polls. But it does have systemic problems that are unavoidable, because it was an attempt to apply market principles to a system that the market cannot and must not control. Our approach—making health insurance and health care a marketable product—is not only evil and immoral, but unsustainable. Now we’re reaping the results of that reality, and it’s a reality that every politician already knows deep inside.
MSNBC’s Ali Velshi points out that other than the U.S., no industrialized country has a market-based health care system. Moreover, they all have better outcomes, are much less expensive than the United States, and all of their citizens are covered. Our politicians know that and must be punished for not accepting that reality and legislating accordingly. The grassroots movements that are budding throughout the country intend to do just that, making sure enough of them are defeated to reclaim the Senate, the House, and many state houses.
We will take the country back from the oligarchs. We will take the country back from the monied interests. And we will once again make our government “we the people.”
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos