Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reality Catches Up With All Of Us

Benjamin Hart writes that Republican propaganda against the Affordable Care Act has turned out to be what it always was -- hot air:

Once a Republican Congress and president possessed the power to actually destroy Obamacare, the party’s health-care hypocrisy was finally revealed for all to see. With its bumbling, bad-faith effort to take away health care from millions, the GOP has managed to do what Democrats never could — make the Affordable Care Act popular.

Ever since health-care legislation leapt to the front burner in 2009, Republicans have chosen to oppose the law in almost complete lockstep — not just as a policy difference, but as an affront to their sensibilities. (Several GOP governors have avoided this path, to their states’ benefit.)

As even enthusiastic supporters of Obamacare are happy to testify, the law has some significant problems, from too-high premiums to the too-limited selection of doctors and hospitals for many patients who buy insurance on the exchanges. (This is in large part because of the Republican opposition, which forced Democrats to create a system with a lot of moving parts.)

But most Republican lawmakers and officials have never engaged with such complications on the plane of reality. They pushed the fiction of “death panels,” brushed off complaints about the pre-Obamacare status quo by proclaiming that the American health-care system was the best in the world (a claim you don’t hear so much anymore), and then, once the law was in effect, moved on to other false narratives — for example, that the exchanges were perennially on the verge of imploding. They never dared admit the conservative roots of the Affordable Care Act, to the point that their 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, had to painfully contort his position on the matter after having passed an Obamacare-like law when he was the governor of Massachusetts.

But simply, Republican propaganda -- like all propaganda -- was unmoored from reality:

The relentless news coverage around health care has finally revealed Republicans’ philosophy on the issue: nothing more than knee-jerk opposition to the previous president combined with an overwhelming desire to cut taxes for wealthy Americans.

And by thus far rejecting any reasonable fixes to the law, the GOP has inadvertently helped drag the American public to the left. A recent Pew survey found that 60 percent of Americans now believe that government has a responsibility to ensure health care for its citizens, the highest number in a decade. That includes 52 percent of Republicans with family incomes below $30,000, up from 31 percent a year ago.

One can argue that Republicans -- like their president -- have been unmoored from reality for a long time.  But, eventually, reality catches up with all of us. 



Anonymous said...

Regardless of how or why it is coming about, thank God Americans have begun seeing the importance of all citizens having affordable health care. Let's hope they finally get that care - like the citizens of every other first world nation.


Owen Gray said...

It's been a long time coming, Roxo. But the Americans may have stumbled onto something they should have had a long time ago.

The Mound of Sound said...

Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. It's the old yin and yang of hubris and nemesis.

Imagine the Republicans thinking they could get away with gutting healthcare to scavenge money for yet another tax cut for the extremely rich? What madness made them think they could mask that perfidy from the public?

Steve said...

Health care may be the one issue that ties Americans to reality. Their system is badly broken and the status quo is no longer sustainable and the only real solution is single payer.

Owen Gray said...

Good question, Mound. Those who are mad may be self absorbed. But they're not self aware.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Steve. But I suspect that those who favour single payer are still in a distinct minority.