If we play our cards right, the GOP’s killing of the Affordable Care Act may be the very impetus we need to get a single-payer system enacted. As I have pointed out elsewhere, after the war ended in 1945, Harry Truman tried to get legislative approval for universal healthcare and because of the goodwill from the war effort, most people were for it.
But lawmakers from the South blocked the measure, because their white constituents were afraid they would have to share doctors and medical facilities with African Americans. Obamacare, however, is fashioned after a conservative plan, hatched by the Heritage Foundation, that put an emphasis on personal responsibility by making insurance mandatory.
President Obama thought he was meeting the GOP halfway by using their model. Instead they turned against their own idea and flip-flopped from an issue of personal responsibility to an attack on personal freedom, rather than give President Obama a victory.
If the GOP were to replace the ACA with something better, that would be great, but we know it’s not going to happen. That’s not the way they roll, they are big talkers about freedom of choice, but they are betrothed to big-money.
The GOP will cut deals that favor Big Pharma and the insurance companies, over the interests of their constituents, this is what they do, they can’t help themselves, it’s who they are, it’s what they believe is just, it’s a trace of the ethos of their deep-seated ideology of the survival of the fittest and their visceral, but seldom publicly acknowledged assumption, that people who can’t afford private health insurance, don’t really deserve it.
Once the full painful effects from the GOP’s botched special-interest rigging are felt by the public, there is going to be a backlash from people in dire straits without available medical treatment and we need to catch the winds of their justified anger in our sails and force a hurricane of dissent.
We are the only developed country in the world that can’t seem to generate enough goodwill to see to it that all our citizens have affordable healthcare without emotional angst and constant whining. Our dilemma is embarrassing, but worse, it’s an egregious insult to the memory of real patriots.
That we have lost members of the armed services on the battlefield who have had relatives die from a lack of medical care, because they couldn’t afford health insurance, is a national disgrace. This doesn’t happen in a good country, let alone one that incessantly claims to be great.
That we can spend trillions of dollars for potential military threats without blinking, but cry budget deficit, when it comes to our citizens facing actual harm, life and death threats, is a moral blasphemy that flies in the face of any ideal of what it means to be an American.
There is no room for profit in health insurance, because it comes at the expense of medical treatment, period. We need to keep making the case that not only is single-payer the only ethical system of handling our health insurance, it’s the only method that is proven to be economical and this is easy to prove.
Fortunately, the number of people in favor of single-payer is growing and when the GOP bungles the ACA, which they are honor bound to do, we need to make a BIG DEAL about SINGLE-PAYER as a slam dunk election issue in 2018, and 2020.
Charles D. Hayes