It is hard to describe the depth of depravity represented by the current health care bill in the Senate. This will go down as one of the worst pieces of legislation drafted in recent times — a testament to what the modern Republican Party has become, a party without a soul. The only people who will benefit from Trumpcare are the rich.

The only Americans who will benefit from this legislation are people who can already afford blue-chip health insurance.

The rich will see enormous tax breaks but everyone else is screwed.

No one’s premiums will go down.  At least 22 million people will lose health insurance. Medicaid will be cut and the elderly will see their premiums rise by as much as 500%. The “savings’ will come about from cutting Medicaid and lowering the number of people who will be eligible for federal subsidies.

How much less will the wealthy pay in taxes?  $541 billion

 

Americans will die from lack of care, many will once again face medical bankruptcies as the annual and lifetime caps on insurance coverage will be lifted. The Medicaid program, which was expanded under Obamacare to include more Americans, will be gutted.

The idea that Obamacare is a failure is a lie. Millions more Americans have insurance. Instead, it needs to be fixed, and Medicaid expanded further. The states that expanded Medicaid are finding it to be a boon to their citizens and their finances. 

The GOP does not want you to have health insurance if you can’t afford it. They suggest that competition will bring down premiums. It didn’t before Obamacare, why should it now? Republicans act as if it is an experiment that hasn’t been tried. Nonsense.

The competitive market in health insurance priced people out.

I know because I was one of them. Many people I knew at the time didn’t have health insurance because they couldn’t’ afford it. It was scary to be without a safety net. I was younger and single. I now have a family and cannot imagine not having health insurance.

The kicker here is that on top of the drafted legislation Republicans are lying about what it does. And even when they aren’t lying, they are suggesting that people should take better care of themselves as if it is our own fault when we get sick. The Trump administration has their surrogates, such as Kellyanne Conway, out there suggesting that people should go to work if they can’t get Medicaid.  According to The Huffington Post:

Among the able-bodied adults that Conway and congressional Republicans have in mind ― that is, non-elderly adults on Medicaid who don’t qualify for disability benefits ― 79 percent are in families where someone works and 59 percent have jobs themselves, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

I no longer expect Republicans to tell the truth. I used to. Though I grew up not agreeing with most Republicans, I respected that we just had a different way of looking at the world. No longer. It’s not just Donald Trump but Senator Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan who lie all the time, and now the rank and file are doing it too. The Republican Party of days past is gone. The extremists have taken over, and the moderates have let them. Now, they are all tainted. You cannot elect a man who admits to grabbing women’s pussies and suggest that it is the party of Ronald Reagan or even George Bush. The Republican Party has no self-respect.

However, it is the astonishing lack of compassion for their fellow Americans that defines who they have become.

Trumpcare is a symptom of a far greater disease, one that threatens our democracy and our society. Our party system is broken. We need at least two healthy political parties that are founded on different ideologies but understand that first and foremost we are Americans with a common purpose and a common good.

Our responsibility to each other as neighbors and fellow Americans is second only to our family, and we must always disagree in the light of day and not in secrecy.

Trumpcare reflects how far we have gone into darkness. The secretive process by which it was crafted was un-American. The fact that it was drafted by 13 white men, should be lost on no one. Trump and his cohorts long for a day when white men were all powerful, and the rest of us had to fall in line. Keeping people down and powerless is part of that strategy, one that this piece of legislation perpetuates.

How far will Republicans go? I don’t know. I never thought we would be here. What I am sure of is that Trumpcare is shameful and reflects the lack of respect for basic human dignity that now defines the GOP.

-Jan Harrison

 

 

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