Republicans in Congress, with the House leading the charge under the guidance of Paul Ryan, are conducting a great game of three card Monte with the American public.
The proposed American Health Care Act is a joke. It’s like Diet Obamacare and everyone with half a brain understands that fact. It is also the type of bill that is so neutered yet destructive enough that it is finding strange bedfellows in opposition like the entirety of the Democrats in Congress and Rand Paul. If you ever thought Rand Paul would be a dissenting vote on Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act raise your hand?
Now the spin begins. Republicans and Donald Trump are trying to sell the idea that the goal is cheaper health insurance. This is a farce because cheaper health insurance generally does not cover any health care. If something is cheaper it usually means one of two things: someone else is picking up the tab or you are getting less coverage. It is a zero sum game.
Under the Affordable Care Act the federal government was subsidizing your health insurance if you were so qualified to receive subsidies on the individual market. Under the American Health Care Act you will just receive less coverage. “But it is cheaper!” Paul Ryan will scream with Ayn Rand-esque shrillness. Yes, just like a regular cab rear wheel drive F-150 is less expensive than a crew cab four wheel drive F-150. Both trucks are F-150s, but one is cheaper because it has less content. Everyone understands why those two trucks are priced differently and people will understand why health insurance is cheaper under Paul Ryan’s plan when they discover it covers no actual health care.
Thankfully, after seven years of claiming to work on a replacement for Obamacare and despite Donald Trump’s promise of amazing coverage for everyone Republicans have shown their utter lack of vision and leadership on the issue by producing a piece of crap bill. Furthermore, provisions in the bill that would be windfalls to multi-millionaire CEOs and other rich people just show who the paymaster of the Republican Party really is in 2017.
Rod Blum is scared of his constituents. According to his website he has zero events scheduled. None. The last event that is listed occurred in October. Not one town hall. Not one silly tele-town hall or Facebook event or “ask me anything” digital event. Nothing.
Recently, constituents in Cedar Rapids—which is the largest city in Rod Blum’s district—protested in front of his office downtown. Naturally, Rod Blum was not available for comment or anything really. Why? He is a coward.
What do you get when you contact Rod Blum’s office and ask when his next face-to-face with constituents will occur? Nothing.
What do you get when you contact Rod Blum’s office and ask if he supports a Congressional investigation into Russian interference in our nation’s electoral process? Nothing.
What do you get when you contact Rod Blum’s office and ask if he supports a Congressional investigation into the current President’s potential conflicts of interest? Nothing.
What do you get when you contact Rod Blum’s office and ask if he supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act? Oh, he supports that one but his office is fuzzy on the details of what to do about the millions of people who will lose health insurance coverage. I am sure it is going to be “beautiful coverage” like our new orange overlord has said. Too bad he is on the wrong side of his constituents on that issue.
You get the idea. Rod Blum is afraid to actually tell his constituents where he stands on issues because he is afraid that people will realize that he does not represent their interests. He represents Rod Blum getting elected to future terms as a member of Congress.
The pressure of having no legislative mandate, losing seats in both chambers of Congress and having a president-elect over two million votes behind his opponent do not make a mandate, and a caucus full of right wing radicals must be getting to Paul Ryan. The wunderkind of the right wing is proposing to “fix” Medicare by making it similar to Obamacare.
Wait a second. I thought that Paul Ryan and his free market flunkies hated Obamacare. Well, they all liked it when it was Mitt Romney’s plan for health care in Massachusetts. However, once a Democrat proposed something similar for the entire United States it was a bridge too far. Cue the Tea Party to bring out signs like this:
So now Paul Ryan and his coterie of hate want to change Medicare from something that guarantees care into a handout for insurance companies. They will tell you that the goal is let the free market work its miracle powers. The free market and the baby Jesus serve the same function as the salve to make unworkable plans or fantastical stories possible.
Remember, Paul Ryan and his Tea Party totalitarians do not think Obamacare works. They want to destroy Obamacare and Medicare at the same time. In the process they want to replace Medicare with something that looks just like the system they feel is broken and needs to be replaced. Talk about keeping your government hands off my Medicare.