Repub’s Obamacare problem
Here’s what we know: Republican constituents are showing up at town hall meetings across the country, warning their congressmen that if they lose their health insurance coverage, they’re gonna be mad as hell and throw them out of office.
Here’s what we don’t know: Whether these are the same people who, a few years ago, showed up at town meetings demanding that Obamacare be repealed.
There are several possibilities. One: We know from polls that lots of Republicans don’t comprehend that “Obamacare” is the same thing as the “Affordable Care Act.” In fact, it looks like about one out of every three Americans suffers from this delusional “alternative fact.” That’s about 30%. Now, that’s about the same percentage that would vote for a Republican if they ran, say, Peewee Herman. Frankly, it’s hard for me to believe that any Democrat doesn’t understand that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing, and I bet you feel that way, too. Dems are smart! So we’re really looking at one-third of the country that’s solidly tea party-evangelical-Republican being completely wrong about something so important and so simple.
But that makes sense. These Republicans have hated on Obama and everything he stood for. They were vindictive, and wanted to hurt him (and his wife). So “Obamacare,” which bore the tyrant’s name, must be a good thing to get rid of. Right?
But there’s a second possibility that’s far more troubling, and that concerns the intelligence level of these people. Perhaps they never figured out that the insurance program they signed up for would disappear with the repeal of Obamacare. I mean, you’d think that’s obvious: after all, you can’t have the water turned off at your house and still expect H2O to flow when you open the faucet. But then, you—my readers—are intelligent enough to realize such simple mechanics of cause and effect. If you like “A” and you destroy “A,” you can no longer have “A.” This is why I have a theory that many, many people who voted for Trump don’t have the sense God gave grasshoppers.
I called the anti-Obamacare Republicans “vindictive” for a reason: the word means “revengeful in spirit.” Can you tell me a single actual, real thing about Obamacare that they didn’t like, beyond the fact that it bore his name? Seriously, what did Republicans have against it? Maybe it was the mandate. We can argue about that, but everybody knows that, from an actuarial standpoint, you can’t have a workable insurance system unless everybody, or nearly everybody, is covered. So I supported the mandate, but I know people who resented it, and they’re not necessarily bad.
What else? Did Republicans not like the “keep your kids under your policy until they’re 26”? Did Republicans not like the “pre-existing conditions” part? Did they not like the fact that States were free to comply with the law either through the Federal government or by setting up their own exchanges? Did they not like that private insurance companies were still allowed to run the show? (After all, Republicans love private enterprise.) But then, if 30% of Republicans think Obamacare is different from the Affordable Care Act, they’re not likely to have any comprehension of things like exchanges.
So, hence “vindictive.” Sheer, blind fury at President Obama. Unthinking, ignorant, pugnacious hatred. And it was stoked and taken advantage of by the most cynical, unscrupulous, mendacious person ever to run for President, much less win. Now, it’s funny to watch Repubs scramble. They can “repeal” but they can’t “replace.” They got what they asked for—unintended consequences!–and a whole lot more is coming their way.