Yesterday, I wrote, Postmodern Politics and the End of Truth. In it, I bemoaned the fact that politicians aren’t held accountable — largely because the media has a postmodern attitude toward the truth — and that this is a great help to the Republican Party. On Tuesday, Josh Marshall provided an excellent example of how this works on the personal level, Just Shake Your Head.
It tells the truly heartbreaking story of an ignorant Republican. Luis Lang is a “self-employed handyman” in South Carolina. He never had insurance — preferring to pay out of pocket. As everyone knows, that’s a dangerous decision. That is especially the case because Lang has diabetes. In February, he had a series of mini-stokes. As a result, he’s going blind, which greatly limits the amount he can work. If he’s going to save his sight and his livelihood, he needs expensive surgery — which he can’t afford.
So in desperation, he turned to Obamacare. But there was a problem. He’s in the healthcare no man’s land: in that great Republican state government created hole where he makes too much for Medicaid and too little for the exchange subsidies. If South Carolina had accepted the Medicaid expansion, Lang would be covered. Instead, he’s going blind.
And who is to blame for all this? “He and his wife blame President Obama and Congressional Democrats for passing a complex and flawed bill.” But it wasn’t the Democrats who left it up to the states as to whether they took the free money to cover people like Lang; it was the conservatives (Republicans) on the Supreme Court. It wasn’t the Democrats who decided not to expand Medicaid in South Carolina; it was the South Carolina legislature that has a Republican super-majority in both houses.
Marshall sums up the situation:
It isn’t my intention to put down Mr Lang. We all do reckless things. I truly hope that he manages to get to the care that he deserves. But he is an archetype of the Republican voter who can’t see that it is his own party that is responsible for his hardships. I agree with him: Obamacare is “complex and flawed.” But that’s because Republicans like the pre-ill Lang were absolutely against the simpler and more effective single payer system — the one that would have covered Lang all along so that he wouldn’t have had to spend all his savings just to get to this point.
I suspect that Luis Lang will die cursing Obama and the Democrats for his fate. And until then, he will continue to vote for Republicans who have done and will continue to do everything they can to kill him.