Health Care category archive
Danny Westneat tries to understand the Republican obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act.
He starts with recalling Rep. Cathy McMorris’s (R–Don’t Get Sick; If You Do Get Sick, Die Quickly) request for ACA stories a couple of years back, She received over 10,000 responses, the great majority of which were positive. Nevertheless, she announced that she would favor the repeal of the ACA:
But the larger problem — the one that continues to hang the party today — is that she wasn’t remotely interested in the real story.
Dick Polman tries to understand why the Republican Party is determined to strip affordable health care from millions of Americans, despite opposition from “the American Medical Association, the AARP, the American Heart Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and at least five Republican governors who care a great deal about their affected constituents.”
He proffers four theories, each one of which I think has a piece of the truth, and no one of which rules out any of the others. Here’s one of them:
They’re trying to please Trump; more precisely, they want Trump to stop making fun of them. For months he has mocked their legislative failures (even though his failure to lead and his ignorance of policy have made things worse), and they’re sick of reading those tweets. They’re upset that Trump has been dealing with Democratic leaders, so they’re desperately jonesing to give him any Win whatsoever, even a Win that screws tens of millions, in order to get back in his good graces.
Follow the link for the other three.
In the far western corner of Virginia, there is an annual event called the Remote Area Medical Expedition at Wise. Doctors, dentists, nurses, and many other volunteer their time to treat persons who otherwise have no access to health care.
In The Roanoke Times, Dr. Ralph Northam, current Virginia Lieutenant Governor, writes eloquently of his experience there this year. Here’s a bit:
Both federal and state policymakers should also not lose sight of the enormous stress this (Trumpcare–ed.) debate is putting on millions of Virginians. A woman I met at Wise underscored this to me after I diagnosed her daughter.
She was scared, but not about her plan for treatment. She was scared her daughter would be unable to get health insurance because she now had a pre-existing condition. This is a mother and child. These are our friends, our neighbors. They are not political footballs.
Dick Polman looks back over this week in the Trumpling. A snippet:
The death of the (ACA–ed.) repeal crusade — thanks to Republican dissenters Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and John McCain (at this point, what can Trump do to him?) — marks a great day for America. McCain, casting the pivotal No and atoning for his tendency to talk rebellion and vote tribally, did a big favor for the many Republicans colleagues who hated Mitch McConnell’s craven repeal manuevers but hesitated about voting No. The big lesson last night is that the Republican Senate doesn’t fear or respect Trump; in the end, it opted to humiliate him.
Indeed, humiliation turns out to be the theme of the week. Finally, we’re starting to see some pushback, on virtually all fronts . . . .
Follow the link for his list of fronts.
By the by, I must admit that I am pleasantly surprised the John McCain finally did something McMavericky. It’s been a long time coming.
Nicholas Kristoff wonders what would happen if Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell were your E. R. doctors.
Jared Bernstein, in another excellent article, points out that Republican statements on health care and other aspects of the “social safety net” betray (or portray) an essential misunderstanding of how insurance works.
It’s like the old joke about life insurance: You’re betting you’re going to die, the insurance company is betting you won’t, and you hope they are right.
The purpose of experience is to spread risk so that each person bears a little tine bit of the cost so that, if someone needs assistance, the assistance is available without crushing expense. In contrast, Republicans seem to believe that crushing persons who do not have buckets of money under mountains of cost is somehow a good and moral thing.
Of course, that might seem reasonable to those who believe that there is no such thing as the common good. Here’s a bit from the article (emphasis added):
That’s kind of a description about how insurance works.
Two things, at least. First, I do think today’s conservatives are uniquely uneducated when it comes to the role of government in mitigating risk. But second, the old Upton Sinclair insight about people being paid not to understand something is also very much in play.
Mike Malloy discusses the Republicans’ advocacy for the freedom to die.