In 2008, I stumbled into a hospital emergency very close to death. I don’t much remember the first month I was there and in total, I spent seven months before they finally let me go. Other than some minor but permanent damage to my heart, I appear to be more healthy than I have ever been. I’m also in debt to the tune of about a quarter million dollars — money I will never be able to pay back. For the previous year, my employer had been promising healthcare to the entire staff. It never came. In fact, I checked with an employee a year later and the firm was still not providing healthcare, but still promising to do so.
Today, thanks to Obamacare, I have insurance. I have a serious preexisting condition. It is doubtful that anyone would have sold me insurance in the old system. So things are far better for me now. Of course, I haven’t had cause to use my insurance. But having it provides me with an amazing amount of peace of mind. And I do plan to use it soon. I could use a check-up.
But the Republicans continue to try to destroy Obamacare. It doesn’t matter how many people like me are better off, they hate the law. I don’t think that there is a better example of villainy in politics. Just the same, I’m pretty sure these politicians actually believe that Obamacare is the spawn of Satan. The modern Republican Party comes out of that John Birch Society tradition that just knows that this is communism and that therefore it can’t work. Damn the facts; they have ideological certainty!
A good example of this comes via Matt Yglesias last week, A House GOP Leader Asked for Obamacare Horror Stories. Instead, She Got Love Letters. The GOP leader was Representative and late model Stepford wife Cathy McMorris Rodgers. On Facebook, she wrote, “This week marks the 5th anniversary of #Obamacare being signed into law. Whether it’s turned your tax filing into a nightmare, you’re facing skyrocketing premiums, or your employer has reduced your work hours, I want to hear about it.” Not even any faux objectivity. What happened next was entirely predictable. As Yglesias noted, “As many brands have discovered, opening yourself up to this kind of dialogue is basically an open invitation to get trolled.”
But mostly she didn’t get trolled. She just got a huge number of responses from people like me who like Obamacare. But there was also stuff like this from Matthew Root:
That’s one thing that is really interesting about Obamacare: it is good for business. One of the big problems that manufacturers have is that many of the companies they compete against don’t have to provide their employees with healthcare because their governments do it. Obamacare is about the most free market solution to the problem imaginable. But because it raised taxes on the rich, the Republicans just can’t abide it. That and the fact that a Democrat with cooties got it passed.
I think we should stop thinking of the Republican Party as being pro-business. It really isn’t. It is pro-rich. It is interested in making sure that the lives of the rich are as good as possible. And that’s fine. But people shouldn’t vote for the Republican Party because they think it will help business and the economy. All indications are that it just pushes money from the poor to the rich and this has the ultimate effect of weakening the economy. Certainly destroying Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare would devastate the economy — in addition to causing great direct harm to the non-rich. But if that is what the American people want to vote for, fine. Let’s just make sure that they understand that that is what they are voting for when they vote Republican.
In the mean time, millions more people have health insurance than they did before. I’m one of them. But if you want more evidence, Cathy McMorris Rodgers set up this great webpage where people tell their own stories…