By: Jeffrey A. Rendall
If the left’s recent contentions are to be believed, Americans better brace themselves for the coming of a serious body count in the years ahead.
No, these hyperbolic liberals aren’t talking about America entering into another Asian land war against the communists or even gearing up for a final push in the never-ending War on Terror; instead, leftists are forewarning of tens of thousands being killed (literally) by Republican efforts to change the faltering Obamacare law.
The Editors of the Washington Examiner report, “The new Congressional Budget Office report for the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill has revived a false claim, parroted by many once respectable media outfits, that millions of people (this time 22 million, one million fewer than the House version of the bill) will ‘lose their insurance.’…
“More galling yet is the claim that the Senate’s modest proposals will ‘kill’ nearly 29,000 additional people each year. This is the worst sort of fact-free appeal, and a good example of why there is little intelligent discussion of politics anymore.”
It’s true; such rhetorical excess does tend to remove the credibility of those who make such outlandish claims. If the 29,000 per annum “killed” figure is to be believed then the total would match the American military’s entire death toll in the Vietnam War (which is 58,220 fatalities) in two years’ time. That’s right, the left is claiming that any changes made to government mandated health insurance provisions will bring on a domestic plague the size of LBJ’s war and slaughter tens of thousands in a much shorter timeframe.
No wonder there’s so little public support for the Republicans’ effort, though if the poll numbers are to be believed a healthy majority would rather keep Obamacare than try to fix it. This basically means Americans are in favor of maintaining a system that by most (including Democrats) accounts is about to collapse. So much for the well-informed citizenry the Founding Fathers envisioned.
Sample poll question: “The CBO indicates 22 million people would lose their insurance if the Republican bill passes. Are you in favor of 22 million people losing their insurance, yes or no?”
Such surveys are absurd; the average American probably doesn’t understand his or her own healthcare plan much less what Obamacare is doing to the greater economy. Throw out the numbers – they’re meaningless.
The Examiner editors also debunk the notion that a lack of health insurance automatically equals death, but that’s beside the point. The larger issue here is the left’s assertion that should the government fail to intervene in everyone’s life and provide them coverage people will end up in the morgue. Therefore, as Bernie Sanders (and many other socialist Democrats) always claims, we need a single-payer system to keep people vertical.
The logical extensions of such thinking are endless. Since Obamacare has only been in existence for seven years (and in actual implementation for a much shorter time), a good case could be made that the government was negligently complicit in the deaths of millions prior to Obama’s signature act of benevolence. There are probably teams of leftist lawyers preparing litigation at this very moment for wrongful death lawsuits against the United States.
Who needs a statute of limitations where human suffering is involved?
All these sleazy attorneys would need to do is “forum shop” for the right type of federal judge and voila, the plaintiff’s bar has another civilization-shattering winning issue. Or, even better, they can group in millions for one huge class action suit and petition for the keys to the federal treasury as redress. Heck, if descendants of slaves can legitimately seek reparations a century and a half after the abolition of the institution, shouldn’t relatives of those who ended up dead because of a lack of health insurance be able to claim standing against the government as well?
For a country that was founded on the concepts of individual liberty and personal responsibility we’ve undoubtedly gravitated a fair distance from such an ideal. The Founding Fathers certainly never conceived of a day when doctoral care would be considered a “fundamental right” much less the suggestion that government would cause deaths by a failure to provide it.
But then again, the Constitution’s creators never envisioned massive entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid either. And certainly the 60’s concept of the “Great Society” and the colossal expansion of the welfare state would have been completely foreign to them in addition. Who says civilization evolves?
Maybe it’s the other way around. Needless to say, the left’s rhetoric isn’t helping things. Jonah Goldberg wrote in National Review, “By the Democrats’ logic, Barack Obama killed people. After all, some people lost health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. Heck, life expectancy went down for the first time in decades after Obamacare went into effect. Is Obama a murderer? Of course not.
“Put aside the hypocrisy and danger implicit in saying elected leaders are murderers if they dare pare back the welfare state. Taken literally, such rhetoric means that entitlement reform is impossible, because any attempt to get our fiscal house in order would require some people, somewhere, to lose some benefits.”
In concluding his article, #NeverTrumper Goldberg suggests the blame for healthcare reform “malpractice” should be shared equally by both sides. It’s a fair point, though the Republicans aren’t the ones going to verbal extremes every time a proposal is made to cut the federal budget (or even to slow down the rate of growth of government).
Further, Republicans are generally in favor of allowing states to devise their own solutions to the Medicaid issue as several have done already. To the extent that the federal government should be involved at all in something like providing health insurance everyone would be better served by having the decision-making done closer to home where a citizen might even get a chance to talk with a human bureaucrat or medical professional about options and how much they might cost.
No one benefits from having Hillary Clinton claim Republicans are the “death party” if the Senate bill passes. Such nonsense only deepens the already significant divide between the two partisan sides and does nothing towards addressing the real issues – helping people access healthcare when they need it and offering some semblance of aid to pay if they can’t afford it.
Anyone who’s been to an emergency room knows they’re typically filled with people who probably can’t pay for the services they’re receiving. As much as the Democrats would have us believe otherwise that money doesn’t come from nowhere. And no one goes away untreated either. Where does the truth lie?
We actually might not find out for a while. There are indications President Trump is shifting the focus away from healthcare for the near term to allow members of his party to settle down. Peter Kasperowicz of the Washington Examiner reported, “Trump was not happy Tuesday after he watched the Senate buckle and call for a delay of several weeks before calling up a bill to partially repeal Obamacare. He called in every Republican senator to the White House and warned that the GOP was at risk of losing its majority unless it found a way to move on the complicated issue…
“Trump’s job for the rest of the week will be much easier, as the two immigration bills he’ll support will get votes in the House and will pass easily thanks to the GOP’s majority there. They’re also related to a bill that passed in the House in the last Congress under former President Barack Obama, who was never going to sign them into law.”
The immigration measures would withhold funds from sanctuary cities and impose tougher sentences for criminal aliens (Kate’s law). Both proposals were at the center of Trump’s winning 2016 platform and enjoy enough Republican support to pass without any Democrat votes.
(Note: The bills passed the House on Thursday.)
It may not be the ideal situation to try and move legislation without input or agreement from the other side but Democrats and their ridiculous “death party” rhetoric makes it entirely necessary. When the simple matter of trying to forge new laws that would work is demonized to such a degree by the opposition it leaves very little choice.
It’s not even a matter of the parties arguing over funding priorities any longer. The Democrats are only out to inflict wounds and cause chaos – and something needs to be done to thwart it.
Reprinted with permission from ConservativeHQ.com.