Politicians this week were handed a golden opportunity to screw the American people, and they stumbled all over themselves rushing at the chance. They failed gloriously, in public view. All of them.
That’s progress, folks. 😎 👍
The ACA is flawed. The AHCA took the skeletal frame of the ACA and fleshed it out with gifts for the rich and poison for the poor. Like most bills introduced in America it was a transfer of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the upper elite. That is not acceptable.
Remember that as they begin Plan B: tax cuts.
They are not working on your behalf, my friends. They don’t have to; we don’t require it of them. We only demand that “our guy” is in office. At that point we give them carte blanche to screw us as they see fit. As long as our chosen appointee is doing the screwing, great. We need to stop being “republicans” and “democrats” and start being “Americans” or, better yet, “humans.” When we think of ourselves in terms of political parties or national identities we create attitudes of disdain for anyone who is not “us.” We then enable those in power to manipulate us through our identities. Strip the identity. Don’t be manipulated.
I get it. Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to think their team is doing well. But this is not a game.
The eight decades we all have, give or take, that’s our life. And right now, by current estimates, there are over 7 billion people living out their eight decades on Earth. About 320 million of them live in the United States. That’s about 4.5% of the population of the planet. I know it’s a big deal to you, the title. Wear it proud. But keep it in context.
Of the 320 million people who do live in the United States, some 43 million of them live in poverty. That number is equal to the entire combined populations of the New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago metropolitan areas. That’s a lot of folks, folks.
In the meantime, the richest 1% of people in America own nearly 40% of the wealth.
Friends, look at that. That’s staggering.
The AHCA was going to make those people, the 1%, wealthier. The only price we had to pay to make them richer was the health of millions.
I know the argument for saving those millions. Get a job. “Get a job” doesn’t work anymore. Automation and globalization have taken the availability and need away. Jobs that are available for many of the people on the bottom and in the middle are not what they once were. Wages have been stagnant for 40 years and benefits have been cut in the name of record profits. When the worker loses and profits soar that’s that transfer of wealth I was talking about earlier. The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. The gap between the two is wider than it has ever been.
The failure this week of the AHCA was great for the American people. Not because the ACA is a good plan, but because the AHCA was even worse. There are better models around the world of health care systems that work for the people more than they work for the profits. America is way behind. It’s time to catch up.
This was a good week for progress, but not a good time to celebrate. Politicians in Washington aren’t throwing up their hands in defeat, they are rolling up their sleeves and getting back to work. The people who fund their campaigns won’t be happy that they let all that money slip through their fingers. They have to find another way to get it. Or they will be replaced. That’s how it works.
It isn’t you against me. Not right vs left. It isn’t Republican or Democrat. It’s all of us in this together for the entire time that my eight decades intersects with yours. To make a better society, a better country, and a better planet we all have to realize that. Right now we work for the glorification, wealth, and success of the few. We sacrifice; they gain. 24 million people would have lost health care next year under the AHCA but the wealthiest of Americans would have kept a few more dollars.
The ACA doesn’t do enough to ensure the health of the humans in America for their eight decades, either. There are better ways. There are healthier, happier places all around the world. Also, there are places much worse. But there are no nations with more wealth than the United States of America. There is no better place on Earth to begin to set an example of how humans should be treated. How they should be cared for in the beginning of their eight decades and at the end. How important they all are in the decades in between.
We are more than statistics, more than burdens, and more than machines that make them money. We are more than Republicans or Democrats or even Americans.
The next bill is coming.
And it isn’t designed to help you. Not one bit.