Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cruel Joke

This was likely bound to happen. Last week in Sandy Valley, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) tried to dismiss testimony from a local small business owner who's benefiting from Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act, or ACA). But this week, he backtracked somewhat. (And I'll have more on that this weekend.)

Why is that? Perhaps Clint Murphy can explain. He's worked on many Republican campaigns, including John McCain's 2008 Presidential Campaign. But when he was denied health insurance due to "pre-existing conditions", Mr. Murphy had an "aha moment". And now, he's asking his party to come to its senses on the ACA.

"I must say that I was really taken aback by [Handel's] position because I definitely expected a more nuanced position that would, you know, talk about the parts of the law -- obviously the one that affects me the most, affects a lot of people the most, the pre-existing conditions.

"But, you know, blanket defund, blanket repeal, those aren't realistic policies because they're never going to go anywhere. They're going to go anywhere. And so, the people out there talking that are doing nothing but scaring people. They are preying on the lowest common denominator politics, and it's really a disgrace, in my opinion.

"I'm really -- I think it's unfortunate that that's the position that her campaign has decided to take and I wish them all the well, but it's just a bridge too far for me to go on."

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This year, Clint Murphy was planning to work for Karen Handel, one of the Republicans running for US Senate in Georgia. But when he learned that she's endorsed the latest G-O-TEA kamikaze mission to destroy Obamacare and the global economy, he started having second thoughts. And really, can anyone blame him?

This is becoming a growing problem for Republicans. For over three years, they have been trying to undo the Affordable Care Act. But now that the ACA exchanges are about to come online, it's becoming increasingly obvious that the ACA is here to stay. So can they continue to deny reality indefinitely?

Many in "Tea Party, Inc." keep demanding it. And they're going to even crazier extremes to pursue it. In fact, they're even finally releasing their long awaited alternative to Obamacare: your local hospital emergency room! No really, they're going there. And Steve Benen has something to say about it.

It is, however, extremely expensive to treat patients this way. It's far cheaper -- and more medically effective -- to pay for preventative care so that people don't have to wait for a medical emergency to seek treatment.

For that matter, when sick people with no insurance go to the E.R. for care, they often can't afford to pay their bills. Those costs are ultimately spread around to everyone else -- effectively creating the most inefficient system of socialized medicine ever devised. [...]

For those with chronic ailments, DeMint's position is laughable -- is anyone going to stop by the emergency room for chemotherapy or diabetes treatments?

The reality is plain for anyone who cares: Americans die because they lack basic coverage. The Republican plan to deal with this national scourge doesn't exist -- the plan is to destroy what took generations to approve, and then hope for the best.

Obamacare's critics are offering a cruel joke, and little else.

Indeed, this is an awfully cruel joke. How on earth are we to expect hospital emergency rooms to solve all our problems regarding lack of access to regular health care? We already tried that. It failed miserably.

Obamacare, on the other hand, is working. Coverage is up, and costs are down. So why are so many Congressional Republicans continuing to threaten economic destruction, peddle nonsensical fantasies, and make even more cruel jokes?

It's all about petty politics. They've been fear mongering over the ACA for so long that they're just not prepared for it to succeed and become a mainstay in American society. Ultimately, they fear the joke turning on them.

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