As you probably know by now, yesterday’s House vote on the Make America Sicker Again Act (pardon me, the “Affordable Health Care Act”, a.k.a. “Trumpcare”, or “Ryancare” for some) was postponed until today because there are not enough votes in favor of it. In fact, even some Republican representatives are opposing it.
So, what’s going on?
I’d say, you can sum it up this way: There is not only no honor among thieves, but no unity either, at least in cases like this one.
Here are the camps, as I see them so far:
- The American People: We want affordable and good healthcare to stay healthy and alive. (Shame on us, I know!) Sadly, we currently have no representation.
- The Health Insurance Industry and Big Pharma: They want to maximize their profits, no matter how many people must suffer and die. They are corporations, run by CEOs. What do you expect?
- Trump, Ryan & Co: They see a chance to please their corporate friends (and perhaps their own wallets, too) by helping them with cutting expenses and driving up profits and tax breaks while keeping the appearance of helping non-rich Americans by retaining the pre-existing conditions protection. Trump, naturally, also wants a political victory to fortify his power, any high-profile victory. He is probably frustrated this bill hasn’t worked out as easy as he thought it would be, what with Republicans howling about Obamacare for so many years.
- A handful of decent politicians like Bernie Sanders: They actually want to do the right thing, namely protect 24 million of us from losing our coverage by 2026 (14 million by next year alone).
- “Moderate” Republicans and many “Democrats”: They want to woo voters by pretending to be on the side of the people for a change. Maybe some of them even did discover a shred of humanity buried deeply within, say when they met someone the new bill would kill. Or else, they were simply intimidated by the angry protests they drew this year.
- A surprising wildcard in the GOP, known as the “Freedom Caucus”: For them, the repeals don’t go far enough. While they try to sell their stance with smarmy words of wishing to lower premiums, their real beef is with the plan, as it stands, still including the famous protections for people with pre-existing conditions, probably the single best achievement of Obamacare — the last thing we must allow to be taken from us, for this has always been the main tool by which our health insurance companies were able to rake in juicy premiums but then deny healthcare once people got sick.
A word about that last item: We must all come to understand that profit-driven health services are the antithesis of good healthcare. The idea of profit is to take in as much money as possible and give back as little as possible in return. The idea of good healthcare is to make people as healthy as possible. So, good healthcare gives back as much as possible. Therefore, a good healthcare system must be health goal driven, not profit driven. It is a prime example for the kind of service government can do much better than the private sector. And Medicare (and Medicaid) are prime study cases to support this notion in our country. Medicare has been so good, Taiwan chose it as the example on which to model its national care system after studying healthcare systems around the world to find the best.
Remember the old chant U.S.A. #1? Well, Medicare is a prime example of that. And Medicare for All would be even better. And if we took the time and focused on quality and efficiency, instead of reprehensible profiteering and price gouging when people are suffering, we could probably even improve on that.
To get affordable and good healthcare for all, we really can’t leave the decisions to profiteering CEOs and the corrupt politicians they bribe and finance. No, we must oust the corrupt politicians by sweeping them out of the major political parties, or by replacing at least one of the major parties with a real people’s party which represents real Americans. By real Americans, I mean working class Americans, not jet-setting billionaires and their millionaire minions in corporate executive offices, establishment politics, or the corporate media.
Related recent posts:
- March 24: The Healthcare Albatross around our Necks
- March 23: The True Purpose of Trumpcare
- March 22: Congress is Planning to Murder 13,500 Americans by Next Year — Their Vote Starts Tomorrow
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