Sunday, May 07, 2017
Racism Made The GOP Abandon Their Own Health Plan
Most people have forgotten (or never knew) that the health care plan now known as Obamacare was originally an idea developed by conservative Republicans. They knew that the system we had was badly broken, and they were afraid that the Democrats were going to pass a plan like (Medicare For All). So they came up with a plan of their own -- a plan they kept health insurance in the private sector and protected the insurance companies.
They even got their plan passed in one state where they had a Republican governor -- Massachusetts. It was called Romneycare there, and its passage was hailed by conservatives and Republicans across the country. They smugly thought they had solved the health care crises with their plan.
But then Barack Obama was elected president. President Obama knew something had to be done to improve health care in this country -- and he realized that he could not, at that time, get a single-payer insurance system passed in the U.S. Congress. That would not only have been opposed by Republicans, but also by many Democrats at the time. So, he chose to use the conservative Republican plan that had been passed in Massachusetts. He knew it wasn't the perfect answer, but it was a big improvement over the system in place -- and he could get it passed.
At that time, the Republicans had a choice. They could claim the system as their own and work with President Obama to institute it, or they could abandon their own plan and pretend it was an abomination invented by Democrats. They chose the latter. And I think they did it out of racism (knowing their racist base would never accept a Black President, and would like their opposing him on every issue). They then did a 180 degree turn, abandoned their own conservative health plan, and labeled it as "Obamacare". And they spent years denigrating that plan, claiming it was Obama's, and promising to "repeal and replace" it.
The something happened they weren't expecting -- they won the White House. And controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, they now had to make good on their promise to fix the health care system.
They again had a choice. They could fix Obamacare -- covering all citizens, and controlling medical costs. Or they could come up with a different plan -- something they had failed to do for years (mainly because the plan they now called Obamacare was the best plan they could devise).
If they had fixed Obamacare, they could tell Americans that was how the plan should have been done in the first place -- embarrassing Democrats and making themselves out as saviors of the health care system, and most Americans would have seen them as heroes.
But they didn't do that. They knew they would anger their base if they did -- thanks to the years of propaganda they spread about Obamacare. Their base would have seen it as supporting the Black President.
So, they quickly assembled a different plan -- and that plan was a real mess (since they couldn't reclaim the plan they invented). It would take health insurance away from millions of Americans, made insurance more expensive for everyone (and probably pricing those with pre-existing conditions and those between 50 and 64 out of the insurance market altogether). It was a plan that the American people overwhelmingly reject. The Republicans have seriously hurt their own party -- and they did it by rejecting a plan they invented.
Perhaps some good will come out of this Republican incompetence. Perhaps it will hasten this nations progress toward adopting a single-payer insurance system (i.e., Medicare For All) -- and help the Democrats in the 2018 election.