At long last, the Republicans have begun to show their cards on health care. They keep repeating again and again that “Obamacare” is a failure and collapsing. You have to admire their ability to stick to their message and keep all their speakers, except for the president, on script. What they are not saying, of course, is that it is working pretty well in states (mostly non-Republican) that expanded Medicaid. It is failing in states that decided playing politics and fighting President Obama was more important than covering the poor.
I live in one of those states. Rural hospitals in Georgia are closing, and more than 600,000 people were never covered because state Republicans decided it was more important do what they could to ensure that the nation’s first black president did not succeed. Now, their relentless propaganda machine is using their contrived sabotage as cover to dismantle Medicare, shred the social safety net, give a major tax-cut to millionaires, and send the poor to line up in emergency rooms for health care.
Many of us are shaking our heads and saying, “This will never pass,” which sounds perilously like, “He can never get elected after that video/debate/gaffe/revelation.” Once again, we are missing the strategy here in our naïve presumption that these are normal times.
The Republicans keep saying that they are doing this in stages: first repeal, then replace, then issue regulations like covering pre-existing conditions. How stupid are we? The plan is simply this: REPEAL the Affordable Care Act, then adjourn and run for re-election with the outpouring of funds from the millionaires who just received tax cuts and still have health insurance.
Because of gerrymandering and the relentless propaganda machine that plays in every restaurant and bar in red states, Republicans have little concern about not being re-elected. After all, they can blame the Democrats for not passing the replacement part of their plan that would have been “Beautiful, believe me.”
Rev. Michael Piazza