*The following is an opinion column by R Muse^
It is amazing that in America, the richest nation in mankind’s history, there are laws against cruelty to animals but nothing to prevent barbaric Republicans from cruel and inhumane treatment of Americans; especially the most vulnerable. America is rich, not civilized.
The travesty of the GOP’s savagery is that they just demonstrated they will willingly strip healthcare from vulnerable, sick and disabled Americans that has no fiscal impact on spending; they just felt inadequate unless their conservative bloodlust was sated.
Republicans have had wet dreams over the thought of repealing the Affordable Care Act since it was passed in 2010, and now that they have a rubber stamp in the White House they are wasting little time taking healthcare away from close to 30 million American citizens; many of whom are stalwart Republican voters. Republicans don’t care. Their inhumanity is non-partisan and they demonstrated that by blocking six Democratic amendments to protect the most vulnerable Americans when the Koch-Republicans repeal “Obamacare.”
Prior to Senate Republicans passing the mechanism to take healthcare from 30-million Americans, Democrats proposed amendments to protect six groups served by the ACA in general and the “Patient Protection” (health insurance reform) aspects of ‘Obamacare’ in particular.
Republicans blocked an amendment that would make it harder abolish health coverage for Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. It is a feature of the ACA that protected over 52 million people including 25 percent of “non-elderly” Americans who are certain to face extremely excessive healthcare expense; if they can buy healthcare at all when Republicans complete their handiwork.
The same amendment protected disabled Americans and those with chronic health issues who were regularly discriminated against prior to the ACA’s enactment. There were only two Republicans joining Democrats in voting to protect 52-million Americans; Susan Collins and Dean Heller may be cruel as Republicans, but they drew a line over preexisting conditions and broke with the punishment party.
The Republicans also blocked an amendment that would protect one of the “most popular and effective provisions” of the ACA” because it helped over 6-million young adults stay on their parents health policy until age 26. The provision has overwhelming popular support and the better news is that “young Americans now report better physical and mental health” than before the health law was enacted; something Republicans refuse to countenance except for Heller and Collins who voted against their vicious colleagues.
Republicans say they work tirelessly to serve Veterans who in turn faithfully support the GOP, and yet the Senate majority blocked an amendment that would make it harder for Republicans to restrict Veterans’ access to the highly popular Veterans Administration health care going forward. It is a very bad sign of what lies ahead for “America’s heroes” in the Koch-era.
Democrats have fought to provide better funding and access at the VA, but the GOP vote, coupled with Trump’s proposal to completely eliminate the agency through a privatization scam means Veterans will be fortunate if they even get a discount coupon redeemable at their local doctor’s office or HMO.
It was no surprise that religious Republicans would block a measure to protect the ACA’s more affordable access to birth control. Besides affording women, particularly poor women, easier and more affordable contraceptive health care, the ACA has reduced contraception costs by 20 percent since the Affordable Care Act was put in place. With a serious religious Republican, Mike Pence, running Trump’s domestic affairs, women will be lucky if birth control is still legal when all is said and done.
Democrats are determined to ensure that Medicaid expansion stays in place for more than just humanitarian reasons, although that was the original intent. It is true the ACA’s Medicaid expansion helped over 11-million working poor Americans have access to basic healthcare despite many Republican states rejecting the aid, but it is also solely responsible for “creating thousands of jobs for direct care workers.” It is the ultimate inhumanity and so typically Republican; kill poor sick Americans and thousands of jobs in one fell swoop.
No report about Republican cruelty is complete without citing their intense hatred for children. Oh, it’s true that they do love the zygote, the fetus and the embryo, but once it exits the womb, draws breath and then “becomes a living being” it not worth spending a penny on for healthcare. Republicans gleefully blocked Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) amendment that ensures children remain covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the ACA. It is noteworthy that both programs provide what is likely the only access poor children have to healthcare including “key preventative and developmental care services;” the kind of services Republicans believe are an abomination that cannot possibly be protected.
Republicans and their corrupt chieftain claim the Affordable Care Act is disastrous and for the past six years they promised they “will replace Obamacare with something better.” However, they blocked efforts to protect the most popular and effective aspects of the ACA with blatant disregard for tens-of-millions of Americans, and it is an atrocity that they know full well that three of those amendments have no fiscal impact on the budget. They do know, though, that eliminating the healthcare insurance “reform” parts of the Affordable Care Act is a mammoth gift to the insurance industry.
What is not surprising is that Republicans will not lift a finger to protect sick people with pre-existing conditions, the disabled, the poor, women, children, Veterans, or young adults; it isn’t in their nature and contrary to the will of the Kochs. But by dog, they will move the proverbial ‘heaven and Earth’ to protect a fetus, the oil industry, corporations, and their corrupt standard bearer Trump. Republicans aren’t just callous and cruel, that’s not enough for them. They are evil, vicious and cold-blooded without an anti-cruelty law to stop them.