Shakezula over at Lawyers, Guns & Money, wrote, Predictable Predictions — ObamaCare Edition. It’s about two conservative predictions about Obamacare: that it would cause employers to cut hours so that they didn’t have to provide health insurance; and that the Medicaid expansion would lead to job cuts. As Shakezula noted, “Two predictably wrong predictions.” But I have to admit to being totally exhausted by the whole thing.
Of course the predictions were wrong. The people who made them never intended for them to prove to be right. This is how the Republican Party works. They have thrown every possible negative consequence at Obamacare hoping that something would stick. Note: stick, not be right. It is the tactical use of fear. And the Republicans are brilliant at it. They aren’t involved in rational debate. They are rather involved in a kind of anti-apologetics where they are just trying make the best sounding argument for what they believe on faith (or for other reasons regardless).
The Republicans were never afraid that Obamacare wouldn’t work. They talked about it failing all the time, of course. That was their major argument against it: that it was a big government program destined to fail. But if that were the case, they could have stood back and watched it fall. But they haven’t done that because their great fear all along has been that it would succeed.
And look what those losers in Congress finally managed to do. After almost six years and over 50 votes to repeal, the Republican controlled Congress managed to send a repeal bill to President Obama. Obama, of course, will veto it, and they know it. But this is what passes for success among the Republicans: a slightly less humiliating defeat. But I guess the real thing they are doing is sending a message: elect a Republican president this year and people like me can be totally screwed.
Sarah Kliff and Soo Oh at Vox put together a great chart, Here’s How Much Obamacare Has Cut the Uninsured Rate in Every State. The only state where the uninsured rate has gone up is in bright red Wyoming. This may be why Wyoming is currently discussing accepting the Medicaid expansion. But this isn’t just about the Medicaid expansion. Lots of states that didn’t expand Medicaid are seeing uninsured rates go down because of the exchanges. Texas has seen its uninsured rate go down by roughly a quarter. So I guess it’s really important to repeal Obamacare and stop these positive outcomes.
The conservative movement is based mostly on the idea of hatred. Conservatives see the world about winners and losers. They are like those people who whine about little league baseball where everyone gets a trophy. “What’s the point of playing a game if there isn’t a clear winner and loser?!” I’ve never understood this, but to the conservative brain it seems axiomatic. So if the poor don’t suffer, the game of life is not being played properly.
What makes humans most amazing as a species is not our big brains; other species have impressive brains. What we are great at is communication. And what has really allowed us to advance is the storage of information. This is why science operates at a breakneck speed. And as a result of this, we don’t have to worry so much about evolutionary pressures. We can control our birthrates. We can feed everyone. We can see to it that everyone has a reasonably contented life. Or we could do all these things if we could get the roughly one-third of the human race to stop believing that they can only be happy if others are miserable.
The Republican Party has taken it to a whole new extreme where they want to see the vast majority of people suffer so that the rich and power can feel just a little bit better about how awesome they are. The Republicans in Congress want to see to it that I don’t have healthcare; meanwhile, a bunch of terrorists think that the federal government is a tyranny because it won’t give rich people free land. The American conservative movement is such an amazing combination of evil and stupid that it’s hard to imagine outside of satire.