Reality is often difficult to embrace for some people and it is curious why seemingly intelligent people continue gravitating towards fantasy. The reality in America today is that one side of the political spectrum cannot comprehend that they are not in charge, have little hope of being in charge, and yet believe one man will put them in charge and transform Republicans into a compassionate, caring, and socially conscious political party. This is in spite of a solid six years of Republican barbarism targeting the American people and a steady increase in their dominance in state legislatures and Congress. All the while, a segment on the left are dead certain that with the election of their chosen candidate, Republicans will magically self-transform into raging liberals and give their undivided support to what many, many Americans regard as ‘socialistic’ policies; this segment of the left are the EmoProgs.
Yesterday, a particular point of contention between Democrats running for the presidential nomination prompted neo-Democrat candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to claim that former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was “sounding like a Republican” because she failed to support his monumental healthcare overhaul. So it has come to the point that, like every Republican, evangelical, and tea party conservative is wont to do, not supporting a policy is “sounding like the opposition.” It is a troublesome practice Mr. Sanders is prone to employ and nearly as despicable as accusing Democrats of endorsing the Koch brothers when they ask the Sanders campaign to receive fewer email requests for donations.
What has Senator Sanders upset with Clinton is because she said her healthcare position is strengthening “Obamacare” and bringing down costs as opposed to Senator Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all that will raise health care costs for average Americans;” something Senator Sanders said is just plain wrong. However, he also said that “Sometimes where the discussion becomes really absurd is that we will increase Medicare premiums, that is true. Yes, there will be Medicare premiums, it’s not free, but we are doing away with all private health insurance costs.” Now, forget that Medicare premiums will be increased under the “single payer” plan because “it’s not free;” that is obvious. But doing away with all private health insurance costs is a fantasy unless Republicans suddenly vanish off the Earth.
Imagine how many Republicans, or Democrats for that matter, will ever support “doing away will all private health insurance costs;” something that implies doing away with private health insurance. It is precisely what Republicans errantly claimed the Affordable Care Act would do and although it was a lie and never part of the plan, they easily convinced a majority of Americans that the ACA was a socialistic government takeover of healthcare. If any American seriously believes even one Republican or more than a few Democrats will ever support a “single-payer government plan” that eliminates private health insurance is delusional. In fact, although a single payer, Medicare for all, plan is appealing on many levels, it is a fantasy that will never come to pass. At least not until liberals control, by a very, very large super-majority margin, both houses of Congress, forty or so state legislatures and governorships, the Supreme Court and the White House. That is the fantasy that emoprogs believe exists today and it is a mystery why they believe that is the reality.
The reality is that when Democrats did have majorities in both houses of Congress, and a Democrat in the White House after a transformational election, they were barely able to pass a health-care insurance reform bill because a couple of “conservative” Democrats were not completely convinced it was time to reform healthcare. One hears often from Obama critics that if President Obama had strong-armed Democrats to storm the Senate and House committee’s addressing healthcare reform and demanded single-payer, Medicare-for-all, it would be the law of the land today. However, more than one ‘conservative Democrat‘ on those committees said if “single payer” was brought up at all, they were walking and any healthcare insurance reform was dead; and that was with significant Democrat majorities in both chambers of Congress.
Republicans are still, five years later, scheduling regular ACA repeal votes because that is precisely what their base wants them to do; stop the “socialist” takeover of their healthcare. According to polling, a majority of Americans, about 53 percent, still vehemently oppose the ACA and want “socialized government out of their healthcare choices;” and they oppose the idea of universal coverage under any condition. This is especially true if it entails getting rid of “private healthcare premiums,” or if they think any of their tax dollars will go to aid the uninsured or expand Medicare. None of this is a revelation and it is baffling why on Earth anyone on the left would believe that even one Republican in Congress or any state would ever support epically expanding Medicare for all when they have spent the past five years pushing plans to completely eliminate Medicare for a “private healthcare premium” coupon.
It is true that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all program is a dream scenario to better cover all Americans’ healthcare needs; that is not in dispute and nearly every European socialist nation implements similar programs. However, this is America where the idea of any socialist program, even if it is not really socialistic, or the concept of government helping all Americans will never fly as long as Republicans exist. Between the base’s inherent opposition to helping the less-fortunate, and the GOP’s strict adherence and loyalty to private enterprise like private health insurance companies, there is no chance in Hell Americans will see anything remotely resembling single-payer or Medicare-for-all.
Now, like it or not, stating or facing reality is not “sounding like a Republican” any more than asking a political campaign to stop inundating one’s email inbox with donation requests is “endorsing the Koch brothers’ agenda.” Accusing anyone who fails to agree with you, or support a particular policy, of sounding like ‘the enemy‘ is a typically Republican tea party ploy and frankly is beneath any Democrat, new or old. It is particularly true when the accused, in this case, Hillary Rodham Clinton, sounded like a realist, not a Republican.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.