Was it Monday or Tuesday that Speaker Ryan released the years in the making, simmered over a low flame fueled by the heat of Republican passion to create the best Health Care plan ever. Apparently, their passion wasn’t quite hot enough, even after 6? years on the stove. What they came up with is an uncooked mess of leftover ideas seasoned by some of the ACA’s key provisions. But worst of all, instead of health care the plate served by Ryan was just another poorly camouflaged tax break for the rich. Just another day at the wonderful Café Republican, whatever they put on the menu, ain’t really there.
Now for my rant. Ever since the Republicans served up their tax plan and called it a Health Care plan, I keep seeing one meme over and over and for good measure over again. They all boil down to “Demand (via useless and ignored online petition) that we get the same Healthcare plan that Congress gets”. And now it’s time for a little story. Back during battles over the ACA, Republican Senator Grassley proposed an amendment that he was certain would be a poison pill for Democrats. The pill required that every member of Congress and their staff, would be required to obtain their Health Insurance on the exchanges. You know, the exchanges that individuals use to select their Health Insurance from. The exchanges that are the primary mechanism by which the ACA makes it easier to sell individual plans at a much lower than cost than before. Unless you got insurance from an employer, you had to buy insurance on your own and it was very, very expensive. The Democrats, for once displayed some backbone and left the amendment in. Now Congress and their staff has to buy their insurance just like everyone else that uses Obamacare. Sure, since they have an employer, the Federal government kicks in a chunk. But I recall that was exactly what my employer did, and most people I know that worked for larger companies or socially responsible smaller ones. By the way their staffers are not paid very much, not more than 50K. Congresspersons and their staff do not get a special health insurance plan, they get Obamacare.
Why does this irrelevant meme irk me? It’s a waste of anger. Don’t be angry AT your congressperson. Demand they support single payer, which is the only proposal that fixes all of the deficiencies with the ACA. Insisting that Congress and their staff not get an insurance plan similar to the same one that any other person at the same pay level in the private sector gets will just harden Republican and many Democrats resolve to not listen to what or why you are so hard headed about Single Payer.
Be positive, not negative, vindictive or punishing. Push actual change, not reactionary solutions. Please, I only want comments that agree with me. I really don’t need to hear how corrupt politicians are. Let’s start, right now, expecting more from them. We still have enough of a democracy remaining that there is hope. And opportunity for great change, and some opportunities may come from unexpected sources.