A right, not a privilege

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Up is down, and down is up.

Without so much as waiting a few days to count the cost, Republicans in the House of Representatives took their long awaited revenge on America’s first black president and found a way to repeal Obamacare.

After whipping the minimum number of votes necessary to capsize Obama’s signature legislation, House Repubs gathered round the mean-spirited nincompoop who took his place for a team photo outside the White House. Cases of Bud Light were seen being hauled on to the grounds for the celebration.

Most observers doubt the generically named American Health Care Act (AHCA) will become law. They expect it to be torpedoed in the Senate. This may explain the giddiness on the virtually all-white faces of those partying House members. Having promised and promised their constituents they’d stick it to Obama, here they’d finally pulled it off — with little fear of having to account for what they’d done.

What the AHCA may do to the health care industry has yet to be calculated. Its impact on the federal budget is still unknown. The likelihood of its putting millions of Americans, including older citizens and children, as well as anyone with a chronic condition, in serious jeopardy appears certain. Medical professionals, hospital administrators, advocates for retired people and children have all come out against it.

House Republicans voted for the AHCA anyway.

They expect their colleagues in the Senate to “fix” the bill, whatever that means.

But since up is down, and down is up in American politics, the only thing you can say for sure about the House Republicans’ vote is that it has steered us all into a whirlpool of unintended consequences. As I’ve already indicated, the dire implications of the AHCA are well-documented. We all need to contact Senators Donnelly (202-224-4814) and Young (202-224-5623) to tell them what a mess support for this bill will make of their respective careers.
But, things being weird as they are, there is also the possibility that House Republicans have inadvertently presented us with an unintended gift. The AHCA is so bad, it has done what many thought impossible: make Obamacare look good.

In addition to being unaffordable, the Affordable Care Act was a bad bet from the start, relying as it did on the insurance industry to put people before profits. Obamacare did, however, introduce millions of folks, including those covered by their employers, to more comprehensive coverage than they had previously known.
This should make the upcoming Senate debate more about making Obamacare better than repealing it. And that, in turn, could get us closer to Medicare for all, a destination where polls show most Americans, including 40 percent of Trump voters, want to be.

In trying to defend the AHCA, Republican legislators have been forced to say how they really feel about the people they supposedly represent. Or, as Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama told CNN’s Jake Tapper: ““My understand is that it will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all of these costs thereby reducing the costs to those people who lead good lives.”
With friends like Rep. Brooks, the AHCA doesn’t need enemies. Since up is down, and down is up, the AHCA may have gotten us closer than we have ever been to finally understanding health care as an American right, and not a privilege reserved for those “who lead good lives.”

Originally published at nuvo.net

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