Our new Republican House made demolishing the Obama healthcare bill their top priority during their campaign and will fight their hardest to make that demolition a reality now that they hold office. We all know the reasons: tea partiers want the government out of their Medicaid, seasoned republicans know they just need to trumpet their hatred of “big government” to stay seated and most in both camps believe that the “market” is gospel and should dictate who should get health coverage.
The Department of Health and Human Services released a study showing that between 50 and 129 million Americans have some kind of pre-existing health condition. As plenty of Americans know, a preexisting condition can allow insurance companies to deny some or even all coverage. Should an insurance company decide to change their criteria defining “pre-existing condition,” it’s possible for a patient to lose coverage as well. But, under the Affordable Care Act, soon enough, Americans will not be subject to coverage denial or extraordinarily high premiums because of preexisting conditions.
Republicans dead set on dismantling the bill dismissed the study and continued chanting the “repeal and replace” mantra, hopeful to keep control over Americans’ health care in the hands of impartial and unconflicted parties – mainly business interests and insurance companies. Though it’s unlikely a repeal from the House would pass through the Senate, the symbolic gesture will likely embolden the conservative masses to continue to support and vote opposite their best interests. Perhaps Rep. Alan Grayson said it best, when he pointed out that the republicans’ health care plan looks something like “don’t get sick, but if you do, die quickly.”
Let’s face it – though they try to play the “of the people” role, the GOP represent and fight for the interest of business. Most worship at the almighty altar of the market, believing that the market is somehow free from influence and independent of business titans, industry captains, wealthy investors and media moguls. No way would the all knowing and ever compassionate market allow citizens to suffer or die. It’s John and Jane Q Public’s fault if they don’t have health care coverage. There’s no link between poverty and health, no link between huge medical bills, bankruptcy and poverty and certainly our Representatives never took donations from companies with a monied interest in health care.
So if House Republicans get what they want, light a candle to Saint Greenspan, Saint Bernanke, Saint Friedman – because if the market calls your number, you’d better hope you can afford a sizeable donation.