Dear Commons Community,
Timothy Egan, New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and columnist, comes out swinging at the Republican Party today for hoping for failure with respect to the Affordable Care Act. He comments:
“The failure movement is active and very well funded. You probably know about the creepy Uncle Sam character in ads financed by the Koch brothers. Sicko Sam is seen leering over a woman on her back in a hospital exam room, her legs in stirrups. This same guy is now showing up on college campuses, trying to get young people to opt out of health care. On some campuses, he plies students with free booze and pizza — swee-eeet!
The Republican Party started a failure campaign earlier this year, but then the strategy got sidetracked in a coercive government shutdown that cost us all $24 billion or so. With the disastrous rollout of the federal exchange, Republicans now smell blood. A recent memo outlined a far-reaching, multilevel assault on the Affordable Care Act. Horror stories — people losing their lousy health insurance — will be highlighted, and computer snafus celebrated…
…This organized schadenfreude goes back to the dawn of Obama’s presidency, when Rush Limbaugh, later joined by Senator Mitch McConnell, said their No. 1 goal was for the president to fail. A CNN poll in 2010 found 61 percent of Republicans hoping Obama would fail (versus only 27 percent among all Americans).
Wish granted, mission accomplished. Obama has failed — that is, if you judge by his tanking poll numbers. But does this collapse in approval have to mean that the last best chance for expanding health care for millions of Americans must fail as well?
Does this mean we throw in the towel, and return to a status quo in which insurance companies routinely cancel policies, deny health care to people with pre-existing conditions and have their own death panel treatment for patients who reach a cap in medical benefits?
The Republican plan would do just that, because they have no plan but to crush the nation’s fledgling experiment.”
It is a sad commentary on the state of the American system of government that our political parties cannot work with one another and worse, actively involve themselves in rooting for failure. We are becoming an example to the world of what is wrong with a democracy that has devolved as a nation “of the people… for the people” to a nation for special and moneyed interests.