The headlines have been full of discussion about the Affordable Care act known as “Obamacare”. Will the U.S. Congress led by the Republicans repeal it and replace it with something much worse for ordinary people? Will they do what Trump suggests and simply repeal the Affordable Care Act and remove even the small amount of protections and benefits it gives people? To even ask these questions is to accept a system in which politicians are allowed to threaten our lives for their own political purposes. The real question to ask is – why aren’t we guaranteed the medical care we need? No one should be thrown out in the cold or forced into debt to pay for their family’s health.
The Republican health care bill would certainly be a major attack against working class people. Some 22 million Americans would lose their health coverage within ten years if the bill were to be passed. No wonder they have been debating it behind closed doors. Only Republican congressmen are allowed to see the details so far. What we know about the bill is what they have chosen to release and what has been leaked to the press. Who hides what they are doing unless they are up to no good?
The fact that Republican congressmen would repeal 22 million people’s health care is made even more outrageous by the fact that these same congressmen have full and unrestricted health care plans. As members of congress they are taken care of and the American working class foots the bill through our tax dollars.
Not only would 22 million people immediately lose their health care as a result of the Republican plan, the bill also includes a 25% cut to Medicaid over ten years. These cuts directly impact children, retired people, the elderly, and disabled people who rely on those programs for health care. This would just eliminate access to health care for the most vulnerable.
What is the republican response to these questions? Smoke and mirrors. They say that all the cuts will be made up for on the state level with special programs and savings from the canceled Affordable Care Act institutions. This is nonsense! Look around at the state governments! They are cutting budgets left and right, imposing the same sort of attacks at the state level that the Republican congress is launching on the Federal level. These lying politicians are playing three card monte – Now you see the money, now you don’t!
While the Republicans play their deadly game with our healthcare, let’s not forget how the Democrats brought us to this place. It is true that every year, and sometimes every month, the premiums are going up for patients who receive health care through the Affordable Care Act. It is true that the most affordable health care is very minimal and only offers the most basic protection. It is also true that people who can’t afford even that basic healthcare are penalized at tax time. These are results of the Democrats’ agenda when they wrote the Affordable Healthcare Act – to enrich the health insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and all the other healthcare profiteers. The system is broken and the big healthcare companies are the problem. The Republicans only want to deepen this problem. There is no reason for any person not to have health care. The resources of the world are such that everybody could be guaranteed health care as well as the other necessities of life. The ones who stand in the way are the wealthy corporations and banks and their servants – the politicians. Their politicians threaten our lives with their policies and the result is misery and suffering. It’s time to say NO to the politicians and demand the world we want starting with free universal health care!