Notes on a Theory…

Thoughts on politics, law, & social science

The GOP voted to kill people because they favor people dying

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The recent vote by the Republicans in the House repealing the ACA is part of a pattern.

The right has opposed expanding health insurance since forever. They opposed Truman’s proposal for national health insurance. They opposed Medicare and Medicaid. Ronald Reagan insisted that adopting Medicare would be the end of freedom in America, which helped cement his position as a rising conservative star. They opposed national health insurance (proposed by Ted Kennedy) and a more limited health insurance reform proposal from Jimmy Carter.  They opposed Bill Clinton’s efforts to expand access to health care. They opposed the ACA. They fought against the Medicaid expansion.

This has been going on for generations. It is not because of Russia. It is not because they don’t like the Democrats. It is not because they don’t like Barack Obama. Surely it is heavily about racism, but towards the vast majority of black people, not only one guy. It is not because they are ignorant (although they may well be.) The GOP’s politics of shifting wealth up and suffering down are clear. This is who they are. It is one of the key uniting themes you need to make sense of what they do. It is not limited to health care. They do not lack ideology or politics. Pretending otherwise is a terrible way to fight them.

For all the talk of not knowing what was in the bill (which is a problem), it is a mistake to act as though it was a complete mystery or that the members who voted for this were indifferent to the content. The broad strokes have long been clear, as Adam Gaffney has shown. The problem here is that they hid the details from us in order to push through a very unpopular law designed to enrich the wealthy while denying millions care. And make no mistake – it is very unpopular. This is not a case of the public or some segment of it making a demand on legislators who then respond. This is an elite drive affair. (This is actually pretty normal in politics, democratic myths notwithstanding.) That makes avoiding the substance of the issue all the more indefensible as a political strategy. This is what the right is about, and it is what we ought to contest.

That said, if you are wondering what to make of all this and what to do next, I highly recommend reading Kelly Hayes.

 

 

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Written by David Kaib

May 5, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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