Let’s be clear: The American Health Care Act — the legislative turd that Paul Ryan desperately wants you to believe is a thoughtful and compassionate fix for America’s healthcare system — is actually an all-out assault on the most vulnerable among us, and its primary purpose is the same as almost all legislation championed by the Republican party: To make rich people richer.
The GOP’s single greatest skill is its ability to convince middle-class Americans to vote against their own best interests. They accomplish this by saying loudly, over and over, misleading or blatantly false things until enough people accept them as truth.
Perhaps the most perfect example of this strategy is the GOP’s re-branding of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as “Obamacare” and subsequent proclamations that “Obamacare is a disaster!” How effective has that strategy been? See for yourself:
This is just one example of the alarming efficacy of the GOP’s never-ending string of disinformation campaigns, and their devastating effects on our country have never been more obvious or wide-ranging.
The Republican party’s reason for wanting to kill the Affordable Care Act is the same reason they and the health-insurance industry worked so hard to kill the Clinton administration’s attempt to pass universal healthcare back in the ’90s: Greed.
See, here’s the thing: Obamacare is not failing, and the premium hikes about which Ryan and his gang of thieves have been screaming would actually have been much worse without it. Is Obamacare perfect? Certainly not … but if Republicans were serious about fixing it in a way that would help all Americans instead of just a wealthy few, they wouldn’t have trotted out something as laughable as the American Health Care Act; they would join with Democrats and adopt a single-payer system that would provide healthcare to all citizens, regardless of their income level or where they fall on an actuarial chart.
Sadly, much like they succeeded at demonizing Obamacare, so too have Republicans and their corporate paymasters succeeded at creating a narrative that casts universal healthcare as some sort of hippie pipe dream whose existence would transform America into a communist state. This narrative is bullshit and exists solely because some people are making a metric fuckton of money from our current, profit-based healthcare system.
Allow me to illustrate my point with some help from this asshole whose healthcare we pay for:
— CNN (@CNN) March 7, 2017
Well said, Jason. Sheesh, enough already with these selfish poor people and their iPhones, amirite? I mean, if they really wanted chemotherapy, they’d stop blowing their cash on things that hard-working Americans like you … get for free …?
OK, that’s kind of embarrassing, but still … I feel you, man. If the less fortunate want quality medical attention, they need to make some hard choices, because taxpayer-funded coverage for everyone? That’s just crazy talk. I mean, that would be like seeing your house catch fire and then calling someone who would just come put it out for you, no questions asked. That would be like getting attacked and having an armed security force come rushing to your aid, prepared to protect you and capture your assailant, no matter who you are or how much money you have. Hell, that would be like … like … like buying a car and then driving it around on roads that you didn’t even build! Madness!
See what I did there? Yes, that’s right: We already have all that shit! And why? Because we as a society decided it was right and good and sensible to have such things, so we all agreed to pitch in and pay for them … and we can do the same thing with healthcare for all of our citizens.
I receive health insurance through my employer at an annual cost of about $12,000. If I, and all those like me, were instead paying our current health-insurance premiums in the form of a tax, and if the super wealthy, instead of receiving huge tax cuts, were instead putting their fair share into the collection plate, we could do away with for-profit healthcare and instead create a single-payer system that would provide coverage for all of us. That is what a reasonable, thoughtful, compassionate society does. Allowing the least fortunate among us to get sick and, in some cases, die simply because they don’t add enough dollars to the bottom line of those whose wealth flows from the healthcare system is a disgusting thing to do … and yet that is what the American Health Care Act proposes.
Universal healthcare is the only humane solution to America’s healthcare problems … and greed is the only reason why we have not yet adopted it — greed on the part of those who profit most from the current system, and greed on the part of the politicians to whom a portion of those profits are directed. That is why scum like Paul Ryan and Jason Chaffetz will tell bald-faced lies in the name of legislation that will leave millions of Americans without health insurance — legislation that, in some cases, literally is a death sentence — just so they can stuff more money into the pockets of those who need it the least.
We’re better than that … and so we must fight these bastards every step of the way until finally the day arrives when we can vote them out of office and elect people who will put the needs of the many before the greed of a few.
Keep resisting. There’s a long road ahead, but we can do this. We must do this. Anything less is unacceptable.