Sadism, as a Political Strategy
When Obamacare was being debated, I went on one of my Research Frenzies. I read everything.
Delved into Romneycare, the Healthcare Systems of Canada, Britain and France, Hillarycare, the Heritage Plan(circa:1989-91), whence both Romneycare and Obamacare spring...as well as the long and sordid history of Healthcare in America....
I went and read the actual Law...the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
What’s interesting about all of this, is how ignorant we are, as a Nation, regarding this subject.
I quickly learned that probably 95% of the folks who attempted to argue with me about this subject, had NOT done any research, at all. Further, every single Republican Politician, Pundit and Screamer seemed to share that lack of curiosity and intellectual laziness. What I found, in my Research, was that while Obamacare was certainly not perfect, it was by far Superior to what came before. Market Based(it is, after all, a Republican Plan), almost Universal, and much more Fair and Inexpensive than the Cruel and Exorbitantly priced Non-System that it replaced.
There was literally no argument to be made, rationally, against it...save to argue for Single Payer/Medicare For All, like in more Civilised places. I was not surprised to see the GOP/Tea gear up to oppose it. Those people had opposed every single advancement for non-rich, non-corporate People, since at least the 30’s.
But this round of opposition to a People Centered Government System soon went right over the top, into absurdity. Much of the rhetoric employed was copied and pasted from previous attempts to maintain the Status Quo: the fight over Social Security and other New Deal Era legislation, the wild eyed scaremongering over Medicare, Medicaid, and all the rest.
Some of the talking Points that fluttered down from the Mothership were almost verbatum to those of 40-100 years ago. But now, they brought out the really big guns.
The John Birch Society, Committee on the Present Danger, even Joe McCarthy was dug up and reanimated...Commies! Death Panels! “The MOST DANGEROUS PIECE OF LEGISLATION EVER PUT FORWARD!!!!!!!!!”....Obama was a “Dictator,Muslim Communist Fascist from Kenya!!!!”....”Run Away!!!!”
Of course, if anyone hollering thus had bothered to actually READ the thing, all of this hysterical nonsense would have been seen to be just and only that....Hysterical Nonsense.
Much to my surprise, a large portion of My Fellow Americans swallowed this whole.
I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me...folks are pretty busy...and the Message was everywhere:”ObamaCare is Destroying the Country!!!”
In Texas, even many Democrats were confused. So much misinformation and outright LIES were spread so thickly, that many folks to this day, believe that “We don’t have Obamacare in Texas,”..even State Congressional Staffers...who should know better.(Pat, I’m looking at you.)
But the Implementation of the Law moved forward.
By now, the whole thing is in place and functioning...mostly. You see, in places like Texas, the State Government saw fit to leave undone a big chunk of the Law. Texas took the opportunity provided by the Supreme Court to Fail to Expand Medicaid.
This means that those whose incomes fall between the very low Medicaid Threshhold($231/month, for a Family of four), and the lowest level of income eligible for Subsidies on the Exchange(which Texas also failed to do, so it’s Federally Run), are simply out of luck. There’s still No Healthcare in Texas, for these People.
All over the country, Millions of People are benefiting from the Law...Millions of folks in Texas are benefiting. But because of the Cruelty and Malice of Texas Republicans, Millions more People are not...I say Cruelty and Malice, because there’s no other explanation.
All...and I mean ALL ...of the dire warnings about this Law have turned out to be nothing at all.
The economy hasn’t crashed, jobs haven’t withered away, Millions of folks can go to the Doctor, often for the first time in their lives, without going Bankrupt(....seems I remember the GOP changing those rules, too...making it harder for People who got mown down by GOP Economic Fantasies to File for Bankruptcy...I think I see a pattern...)
In fact, the biggest problem with Obamacare is the GOP’s Failure to Implement it, In places where they are in charge.
If you live in Texas, and still cannot get access to Affordable Healthcare...blame the GOPtea. It’s their doing.
Now, the GOPtea activists and rabble rousers, having failed to destroy the Law by other means, are out there seeking Activist Judges, in the height of Irony, who will rule their way in numerous Lawsuits. In one of these, the 2 Republican Judges on a 3 Judge panel, found one sentence in the 2ooo page Law that was insufficiently clear.
How much Taxpayer Money will be spent defending this Law from what amount to Frivolous Lawsuits?(another couple of ironies!) Ted Cruz, Cornyn and our own Conaway are still singing the same song...fearmongering hysterics...cruel, malignant lies. Perhaps they have nothing else to run on...perhaps their own ideas have been so battered by Reality these past 40 years that they are, themselves, Bankrupt.
I’m sure that if they had an Alternative, they would have trotted it out, by now.
All I can find in the way of such an Alternative, is a single page, put out by the GOP a couple of years ago...a single page of platitudes and nice sounding rhetoric. They have nothing.
Nothing, that is, but hatred and cruelty, and a whole wall of Lies and Obfuscation, that is crumbling away, almost daily....as the Law actually takes hold.
What it boils down to, is that if you live in Texas, and don’t yet have access to affordable Healthcare...the Texas GOP wants it to stay that way. If you can’t afford to go to the Doctor, they want you to wait until you’re really sick, and go to the Emergency Room. ER’s are forbidden from turning you away if you have no money.
They’ll just sue you, later...and if you still can’t pay, the Civil Court will try mightily to put a lien on you....and in the meantime, the Taxpayers of Texas, pick up the slack. That slack is much more than it need be...or would be, had the GOP just went ahead with their own Plan(Obamacare).
Turns out those Death Panels we heard so much about really exist...only they’re not in Obamacare...they’re in the Texas Legislature, and in Republican Offices, across the State.
The Texas GOP/tea wants you to remain without access to Healthcare.
They want you to continue to go broke, if you get really sick.
Bake Sales are the answer, they say!
And yet, we’ll likely see a Greg Abbott and a Dan Patrick and a whole host of other cruel and malicious Liars keep their stranglehold on Texas’ Government...and continue this travesty.
We’ll see this, because too many of You will fail to get out and Vote. Too many of You still think that Politics is Boring, and that it has nothing to do with you.
I hope that I have convinced you otherwise.
Your Vote does Matter.
Josef D. Pinter.
(I am, by the way, a Deputy Voter Registrar...I would be happy to help you get Registered to Vote)