Well, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wants to make you feel better. In the event that you do have to endure more pain, suffering, depression and premature death because of GOP sadism, at least you'll have helped make the Democrats look good in the process.
This is exactly how Krugman grotesquely closes his piece on the "Trumpcare apocalypse."
Even though the legislation kicking tens of millions of people off Medicaid and increasing the premiums for Obamacare coverage to even more unaffordable proportions now looks to be D.O.A., Krugman doesn't put its passage outside the realm of possibility. Some right-wing legislators are so depraved and so fanatical that giving a giant middle finger to the fact-based analysts of the Congressional Budget Office might be an opportunity too good for them to pass up:
Something like this C.B.O. score was a foregone conclusion; would it really have mattered much if it were 15 million losing insurance, not 24 million? How was this supposed to work out politically?The cancer patient on Medicaid whose chemo gets cut off when those proposed lifetime benefit caps go into effect will feel so vindicated. It will be so worth it to say "I told you so" on your deathbed, just to get the satisfaction of watching multimillionaire Nancy "Embrace the Suck" Pelosi go into nonstop virtue-signalling and fundraising mode, as the United States morbidity and mortality rates skyrocket to even more epic proportions. And if more deplorable Trump voters suffer than righteous Democratic voters, so much the better. It's a prospect to absolutely die for, if you're like Krugman and have "the conscience of a liberal" as well as guaranteed insurance coverage of your own.
Again, I wouldn’t count out the possibility that this law will be rammed through regardless, with budget analyses relegated to the category of fake news. Democrats might even want to hope that this happens, so that there is no question about who to blame if insurance collapses. But the lemming-like way Republicans rushed into this disaster is still amazing.
The Democrats are as morally bankrupt, in their own smarmy way, as the Republicans. Their tepid health care "fight" is not so much about protecting the tens of millions of people from Social Darwinist ideology as it is about winning back power on the theory that "they suck less." And they conveniently forget that what they are fighting so hard to protect is a Republican plan in the first place. No wonder the Republicans are so tied up in knots over its "repeal." It's hard to call something socialistic and then not admit that the main socialistic component of Obamacare is that it is welfare for the insurance cartel.
Assuming that liberals do manage to prevail in the 2018 mid-terms, they still have no intention of rallying around HR 676 and similar single payer health insurance proposals castigated by Krugman and his ilk during the Democratic primaries and still ignored by them as a sure-fire to win over working class voters. They will instead be celebrating the fact that they managed to "save" the for-profit predatory health insurance system. Or as Krugman so cynically hopes, they will be gloating all the way to the bank.
Let's get real. Human lives and bodies are way too profitable to just let Obamacare as we know it go the way of the rotary phone. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton put it recently, the pharmaceutical industry is not about to give up its cannibalism when there's so much money to be made by both treating and causing disease in people. Obamacare and its kludge of insurance predators and outsourced Medicaid plans are in the same predatory rent-seeking category as payday loans and rent-to-buy housing scams and charter schools.
Another prime example of rent-seeking is that the Medicaid is funding opioid prescriptions for low-income workers, Deaton said. The results are workers who are becoming addicted and overdosing while profits are going to the Sackler family which owns Purdue Pharma that makes OxyContin.Democrats have cleverly taken to calling the GOP health bill "Making America Sick Again." Actually, "Making America Sicker by Forcing Poor People to Buy their Own OxyContin" would be more on point. But that would be both too much of a mouthful, and a tacit admission that Democrats like things just the way they are.
Deaton said he favors a single-payer health system only because our current part-private and part-public system is exquisitely designed to give opportunities for rent-seeking.
“So I, who do not believe in socialized health-care, would advocate a single-payment system...because it will get this monster that we’ve created out of the economy and allow the rest of capitalism to flourish without the awful things that healthcare is doing to us,” he said.
It also helps that the Sackler family of billionaires has generously donated to both sides of the morally bankrupt Duopoly while literally getting away with mass murder.
As a 2016 investigation by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity shows, drug companies have spent more than $880 million on lobbying and political contributions since 2000. Compare this to only $4 million spent on similar influencing efforts by organizations which exist to combat opioid addiction and the proliferation of pill mills, and you begin to understand why there is so much turmoil in bipartisan circles over Obamacare repeal and Medicaid destruction.
Somebody should alert that hyper-capitalist Donald Trump about the imminent danger to the oligarchic bottom line which GOP "reform" represents, especially since he himself has advocated for a single payer health care system on more than one occasion.
If we can't appeal to his psychopathic selfishness, perhaps we can appeal to his psychopathic greed.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party should probably just hurry up and get on with its own collapse so that a new progressive party can arise from the ashes.
As for HR 676, re-introduced by John Conyers in January, it has now been referred to the House Committee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, where it is bound to get maximum attention from the truth-telling mainstream media. Maybe they'll get around to discussing it as soon as they come down off their own latest high: blissing out over two whole pages of an old Donald Trump tax return.
So when you get the email from the White House asking you to share your own Obamacare horror story, you might consider just sending the president a copy of HR 676, that fantastic and fair single payer bill. It would save both him and you, like, an unbelievable amount of money. Best of all, taxpayers wouldn't be on the hook for expensive elective cosmetic procedures for rent-seeking plutocrats. The ultra-rich need to have some skin in the game just like everybody else. HR 676 would force them to pay for their facelifts and tummy tucks out of their own deep pockets. Sad.
This bill establishes the Medicare for All Program to provide all individuals residing in the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, dietary and nutritional therapies, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care.
Only public or nonprofit institutions may participate. Nonprofit health maintenance organizations (HMOs) that deliver care in their own facilities may participate.
Patients may choose from participating physicians and institutions.
Health insurers may not sell health insurance that duplicates the benefits provided under this bill. Insurers may sell benefits that are not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery benefits.
The bill sets forth methods to pay institutional providers and health professionals for services. Financial incentives between HMOs and physicians based on utilization are prohibited.
The program is funded: (1) from existing sources of government revenues for health care, (2) by increasing personal income taxes on the top 5% of income earners, (3) by instituting a progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income, (4) by instituting a tax on unearned income, and (5) by instituting a tax on stock and bond transactions. Amounts that would have been appropriated for federal public health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), are transferred and appropriated to carry out this bill.