For the past few months, Americans have been watching a game with only one team on the field.
And now that team has managed to lose the game — in spectacular fashion!
It was a nail biter for a while, but the Republicans managed to defeat all versions of their health care bills — all on their own and against only themselves! They have managed to accomplish nothing legislatively and the road ahead seems bleak for the budget proposal and tax reform, too.
Republicans hold the House, Senate and the presidency and yet no major legislation has occurred. Truth be told though, I feel for the Republican Party.
Let’s be honest: The Affordable Care Act has been in place for the past seven years and it is difficult to dissolve or alter without hurting millions of people in the process. And, since the institution of the ACA, the country has come to embrace health care as a fundamental right of American citizenship. That is a tough hill to climb.
The Affordable Care Act stands fairly strong as of today; however, we now have a president and Congress hoping and plotting for it to fail. And, in the process, hurting millions of Americans who rely upon the ACA for their insurance needs. The promises of sabotage have already left many markets unstable and the threats to cut off subsidies to insurers could lead to soaring rates.
This cold and callous move stands to hurt the most vulnerable and middle-class families … and yet our president boasts about wanting to sit back and watch it happen. Superb leadership, indeed!
Doesn’t it make more sense to put party aside and work under a shared goal to provide a strong health care system that works for all? It would be much easier to work together now to repair the marketplace and restore confidence. The economic effects of the ACA collapsing should be motivation enough to put partisanship aside and work on amicable, well-researched solutions.
Personally, I do believe health care is a right and that for-profit corporations should be removed from the equation and that single-payer health care is the best answer. It should not matter what socio-economic group to which you belong or your financial resources; all humans are deserving of quality health coverage.
Pope Francis has even spoken on the issue: “Health is not a consumer good, but rather a universal right, and therefore access to universal health care services cannot be a privilege.”
Whether you believe health care is a right or not, you do have to understand that kicking tens of millions of people off their insurance is sick and harmful. This health care debate must be addressed with both sides and with the best interests of the American populations at the core of the discussion.
Lynn Matthews is chair of the Washington County Democratic Party.
Read or Share this story: http://www.thespectrum.com/story/opinion/2017/08/04/republicans-defeat-themselves-health-care-debate/533521001/