Opinion: The American people now see the truth

(AP)

NOTE: The post below, the electronic version of my Sunday AJC column, incorporates some portions of posts published earlier on this blog.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that House Republicans found it impossible to pass a health-care “reform” bill that gutted Medicaid by cutting $880 billion, that pushed an estimated 24 million Americans off their health insurance plan with no replacement, that hit poor, elderly and rural Americans hardest and that hands most of an $880 billion tax cut into the hands of wealthiest Americans.

For many Americans, the surprise was why it proved so tough. They watched as Republican leaders failed to corral Republican votes for a Republican bill to keep a Republican promise to the Republican base. And why? Because in the eyes of many of those Republicans, the bill simply was not mean enough. It didn’t cut enough, it didn’t punish enough, it didn’t do more to make the vulnerable and fragile in our society even more vulnerable and fragile.

That’s the part that gets to me. More importantly, I think it now gets to the American people as well.

For seven years, as Republicans repeatedly promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, they intentionally created a broad public expectation that when they finally revealed their replacement, it would be an improvement, that it would somehow cover more people at lower cost with lower deductibles. Out of sheer political calculation, they pretended to accept the principle that in a decent modern society, people should not be denied basic health care because they lacked the money to buy it.

A lot of the time, that promise was explicit.

“You’re going to have such great health care at a fraction of the cost, and it’s going to be so easy,” as Donald Trump put it on the campaign trail. He also promised that “we’re going to have insurance for everybody,” telling voters that while “there was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it, that’s not going to happen with us.”

But the hard truth is that the GOP never had the slightest intention of fulfilling the lofty expectations it created. The truth is, basic GOP ideology says that health care should be treated no differently than any other commodity in a free market system, which means that if you can’t afford it, then you should get a better job so you can. The House GOP plan reflects that philosophy perfectly.

That explains why, in a new Quinnipiac poll released this week, just 17 percent of American voters said they supported the Republican plan, while 56 percent opposed it. Even among Republicans, just 41 percent supported their party’s plan. On another question, just 33 percent said they want to end support for Planned Parenthood, which is another top GOP goal.

Public support for the gutting of Medicaid, a third top GOP goal, is also minimal. Last week, a gleeful House Speaker Paul Ryan celebrated the plan’s dramatic, $880 billion reductions in Medicaid, telling Rich Lowry of National Review that “We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around ― since you and I were drinking at a keg.”

According to Quinnipiac, just 22 percent share Ryan’s dream of gutting Medicaid. Just 39 percent of his fellow Republicans think it’s a good idea.

Overall, an enormous 85 percent of Americans say it is very important to them that “health insurance be affordable for all Americans,” while another 13 percent call it somewhat important. That’s adds up to 98 percent, yet the thrust of the Republican plan has been to move rapidly in the other direction.

The American people can now see that.

Reader Comments 0

2541 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

In order to offset the redesign to the ACA that Tom price as HHR Sec'y. no doubt is going to attempt to do as described by Kyle Wingfield, citizens are going to have to put Democrats back in power. That means voting to put Jon OSSOFF into Tom Price's Congressional seat. You can vote for him as of today. Then, vote another Democrat into the White House in 3 1/2 years who will not VETO a single-payer bill.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@TBS Most major changes seem impossible until they are possible.  Sometimes not always for the best (see Trump election).

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@TBS  I agree on the single payer - but what about a "public option"?

TBS
TBS

We shall see. I'm all for improvements and ways to reduce costs.

Don't get me wrong on that. I'm just looking at the reality of Dems delivering a single payer when a good many are directly and indirectly beholden to the interests that are against it.

I just don't see those individuals collectively walking away from those interests.

If they were going to do that they would have already walked.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@TBS


You may be right TBS, but unless we have a majority Democratic Congress and White House, the Republicans are going to change the ACA into something we do not know and which may self-destruct through the machinations which devious Tom Price as HHR Secretary will no doubt lay on the current ACA law, single-handedly by the stroke of his signature.  According to Kyle Wingfield, next door, that may be up to 1400 changes the HHR Secretary, himself, can make to the ACA.  Don't bank on anything helpful to the American people in terms of healthcare, coming from Price.  He is as much as an ideologue and with tunnel vision as Paul Ryan, and probably more so, when it comes to medical insurance.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@TBS


Time will change concepts of the masses of Democrats toward single-payer or public option, in spite of corporate will to the reverse.


However, above all, Democrats must not fight one another as the Republicans have done in their Republican caucuses.  Look what happened to the Republicans this past week by fighting with one another so intensely.


"Keep our eyes on the prize."

Starik
Starik

@TBS Why aren't we looking at other countries with functioning health systems?  Why do we pay the most in the world for ineffective health care?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Hedley_Lammar @StraightNoChaser 

Trump's loud mouth has spoke out in support of made up massacres and other things around the globe, including attacks on US allies, but not one tweet from Trump denouncing the arrest of protesters in Russia.  

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@StraightNoChaser Maybe they will have enough support to actually changes things over there. But with the media under Putin's control I wouldn't bet on it.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Lol. Listening to you liberals go on about Putin and Russia, things you have no knowledge of.

Peachs
Peachs

@PaulinNH the chairman's common sense seems to be in question.  How does this guy, even end up ,as chairman ,of a major committee in the first place?

TBS
TBS

Just my opinion but even if nothing took place in terms of Trump - Russia preelection (yes some libs think it's a foregone conclusion without much proof) it's becoming obvious that Nunes is the point man for Trump in the HoR to run interference and assist with the public relations fallout.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Peachs @PaulinNH  How does this guy, even end up ,as chairman ,of a major committee in the first place? 

Same way Gowdey and Chaffetz became committee chairs - by toeing the party line

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

PaulinNH

Is Yglesias suggesting Trump's agenda is motivated primarily by his own personal gain? 

TBS
TBS

I think that's a by product of him winning not the reason he ran.

Of course he and his family are going to take every conceivable advantage but I just don't think it was the main motivating factor.

TBS
TBS

ITM

Would you like to clarify your comment regarding the ACA and Dems?

TBS
TBS

Maybe he slipped out the back.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@TBS LOL, Fox is full of it, they lie for no reason just like Trump does.  

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@TBS

slipped out the back

There must be, what, fifty ways to leave your White House?

TBS
TBS

I'm not all that confident Ossoff will win but did hear a political ad on the radio today. Some PAC saying how liberal Ossoff is and would rubberstamp the Pelosi agenda and kill jobs.

The Rs know this would be a huge defeat so they are working to shore up the support. Again I don't think Ossoff will win but interesting to see Rs and R backed PAC money having to flow into that district.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@PaulinNH Trump didn't win by much there I think


Its in play more than some realize. Handel is a far right candidate so Ossoff vs Handel id give him a punchers chance.

kitty72
kitty72

@PaulinNH  My gynecologist is working on Ossoff's campaign. Liberals in the district really want to flip it. Sure hope they succeed.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@TBS

Some PAC saying how liberal Ossoff is and would rubberstamp the Pelosi agenda and kill jobs.

Yeah, the dark money peeps really don't have anything but their usual "skeery libtard" stuff to throw at him now. Clearly the "he had fun in college" ads weren't getting it done.

TBS
TBS

Good point.

TBS
TBS

I don't recall hearing Price or PAC financed ads for Price when he was the representative

The Rs aren't taking any chances

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@TBS


I literally fell out laughing at that ridiculous ad! So juvenile!  

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@TBS

Price won his district by over twenty points in 2016; there was hardly any need for him to advertise.

The Rs aren't taking any chances

Just to be nitpicky, we've no idea who is financing the attack ads against Ossoff, it's some shady dark-money outfit.

King_of_Kolob
King_of_Kolob

@TBS Ossoff is not embracing the Democratic party. Nowhere in his ad says anything about him being a democrat. The PAC is trying to run against Pelosi, because there must be a demon to hate and apparently Ossoff's record is good enough to get him elected. HIllary won these counties, but so did Price so Ossoff has a good shot at winning. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I used to make regular visits to the FoxNews.com homepage, just because I thought I should have some idea of what my conservative brethren were absorbing as news on a given day.

(and for awhile, I had fun counting the recurrences of the word "Obamacare" on that page--it used to hit double digits!)

The sad truth is, though, that nowadays I really should be doing this with Breitbart.com instead; that's where the real influence is right now.

It's just so ugly and unapologetically racist that it's awfully hard to stomach a lot of the time.

TBS
TBS

You libs have throw around the term racist so often that it no longer has any meaning.

That's always both a funny and sad talking point.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Visual_Cortex I recommend having a strong anti-virus running at the same time as visiting Brietbart.  

kitty72
kitty72

@Visual_Cortex  I had a nitwit try to use Breibart to prove how persecuted American Christians are...poor babies. I just laughed at him.

Kamchak
Kamchak

And this whole Trump effect on the DJIA?

The DJIA is still above the 19,829 mark when he was inaugurated.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@InTheMiddle2

  Trump WANTED to fix healthcare

Correction: Trump WANTED to use the COVER of fixing healthcare as a tax cut for the rich.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Kamchak Correction: Trump wanted to look like a "strong leader" who can "get things done" and "negotiate great things for America".


#Failure.