Monday, March 13, 2017
Can Republicans Hold Together On Health Care?
For the past few months it is the Democrats who have seemed in disarray, still litigating the primaries of 2016 instead of looking to the future, like a bunch of losers. However, the Republicans have had their first real attempt at passing new legislation turn into a shitshow faster than you can say Louie Gohmert.
The attempt to repeal the ACA has exposed the many fault lines in the conservative coalition. On the surface things looked united because Ryan's plan had the support of president Trump (I feel like I need to wash myself after writing that phrase.) However, the "freedom caucus" (snicker) was immediately upset because it was not cruel enough to the poor. The official plan reflects an understanding of the political reality that a lot of people who vote Republican would be better off in the status quo than a world with the ACA completely repealed. Ryan is trying to boot people off of health care while still convincing his voters that their new shit sandwich is actually freedom pastrami on personal choice rye. The ideologues like Cruz and Paul don't care about that, they want their right-wing Bolshevik revolution to be implemented at all costs.
This new proposal is also causing problems for the fascistic elements on the Right. Trump had told the white masses that their entitlements would be kept safe, a common gambit by populist nationalists. All members of the Herrenvolk were all supposed to be protected. However, the AHCA does no such thing, and fascist outlet Breitbart has flipped its lid. The ACHA is the proverbial compromise that makes nobody happy.
But will it nonetheless pass? With the party leadership and president behind it rebels have an uphill battle. That being said, the whole reason Ryan is the Speaker in the first place is due to a riot by Tea Party conservatives in the House. The Republican congress has been very good at unifying around defying a Democratic president, but completely inept at passing legislation. You know, the thing legislators are supposed to do.
Instead of breaking, I think the Republicans might do what they're best at, shitting on the opposition party and using their obstructionism to force an outcome to their liking. They could easily deprive the ACA of support by cutting the taxes on the wealthy that fund it, letting Medicaid and the exchanges collapse. They will then turn around and claim the Democrats did it because Obamacare was doomed from the start. Usually the party in power gets punished when things go to shit, but the current political moment is hardly typical.
What I hope happens, and doubt ever will, is that the Democrats seize the bull by the horns. Instead of defending the status quo, they need to be advocating for single payer, or at least a true universal health care system. At the very least, "health care is a human right" needs to be rallying cry. The Republicans will not defeated by simply standing aside and watching them turn into a shitshow. If 2016 taught us anything, it's that.