GOP Healthcare Plan Secrecy
Apparently the GOP-controlled Senate is now working to revise the House’s version of the American Health Care Act so it is not as “mean” (reportedly at the request of President Trump), but is doing so in a bizarrely secretive and stealthy manner. In fact, they are seemingly intending to keep their proposal “under wraps” until the last possible minute, hoping to then put it up for vote and push it through quickly before anyone has much of a chance to really know what exactly is in it.
Not surprising, actually, given that (on the basis of what little information is currently available) it will likely result in at least 20 million Americans losing their healthcare insurance due to, among other things, significant cuts in Medicaid (despite Mr. Trump’s campaign promise to not do this), higher premiums for those in the 50-64 age range, and the undermining of protections for those with pre-existing conditions. And,of course, the supposed “bright” side of all this is massive tax cuts for the wealthy, which seems to be a top priority underlying any major policy proposal by today’s GOP.
This is in stark contrast to how the process of implementing the Affordable Care Act was undertaken 8 years ago, which extended well over a year, involved countless hearings and input from all stakeholders, and incorporated over 100 Republican-sponsored amendments. Curiously, at that time our current Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan criticized this process for being too “rushed.”
So one can only assume that the Republicans do realize how harmful this bill would be for working class and financially struggling Americans, and how bad it will look when everyone has a chance to clearly see that these truly “mean” cuts serve mainly to make the rich even richer. But at least if they manage to rush it through in this manner they will be able to claim a political “win” in terms of their long-held desire to “repeal and replace Obamacare” – a “win” for which they seem quite desperate and determined to pursue no matter the costs to those whom they are supposed to represent.
Perhaps at some point they will finally remember that they were actually elected to serve all of America’s citizens, and that their sacred duty is to work diligently for the public good and to put our great nation’s needs above those of themselves and their party? One can hope.
And so it falls on all of us, the “grass roots” voters and citizens who make up this great nation, to hold them accountable for their choices and actions, and to remind them that they are actually supposed to be working for us. In these trying times, our nation needs us all to strive to be attentive, well-informed, and actively engaged – for only in this manner can our constitutionally-limited democratic republic thrive.