The Republican Party has abandoned their plan to repeal Obamacare, at least for now, and they are moving on to a tax overhaul.
So like health care, this too shall fail.
If there is one common denominator in all this, it is that Americans are awake and they are watching. More importantly, they are not buying the party line – no one’s life is going to get better, wealth is not going to “trickle down,” and Washington politics serve only the very top of the food chain.
To put it bluntly, the public is no longer swallowing the line of hogwash they have been fed for decades, and this new reality has caught the GOP off guard. They simply don’t know any other way to legislate, except business as usual.
The repeal and replace of the ACA failed because the goal was never to improve the existing laws, it was not about insurance reform, it was all about undoing Obama’s legacy and nothing else. I strongly suspect that it was all about racism. The Republicans did not care if you or I were going to be able to go the doctor. They did not care if their rural supporters had coverage. They were not trying to protect Medicare.
Regardless of how they tried to spin it, that was not the purpose of the legislation. The object was about making the law go away to benefit those with the most wealth. Despite having a majority in the House, the Senate, and a Republican in the White House, they still could not fulfill their campaign promise.
The “replace” portion of the bill was merely paid lip service, and the GOP spent all their efforts in trying to find a way to sell it to the public, instead of trying to work with Democrats to craft legislation that would provide coverage at reasonable costs.
Why didn’t they reach across the aisle if there were so many in support of this approach?
Because providing health care to Americans was never the goal.
They introduced new proposals which were simply the same plans dressed up differently with the object of duping the public so they could take away coverage from millions of Americans and the super wealthy could earn even more dollars, and then fund their reelection campaigns. Years ago, the public would have believed the story of lazy welfare queens and inner-city leeches, and they would have supported the proposal. In the us-versus-them world, the voting public was white, wealthy, and Evangelical Christian. They did not need a hand-out or a hand up, for that matter.
The GOP continues to operate the same way it did 20 or 30 years ago back when middle-class Americans still believed that they could have a good life, they were on the fast track to wealth, and one day would participate in the boom promised by Ronald Reagan. Americans were climbing the economic ladder and believed that in the future, they would benefit from the GOP agenda. They were very far removed from social pariahs that received Medicaid, food stamps, and tax credits. Those were the immigrants, the drug-addicted, the poor because they made bad choices. In that world, equal wealth virtue. Corporate America was competing for labor, so health care was a benefit they had to provide, Americans were making money and investing. It was a much different world than today.
Also, if that were the case, the Republicans would be enjoying a level of popularity unheard of in Washington politics.
The reality is that there is no more middle-class America on their way to enjoy the fruits of the GOP agenda. Wages have stagnated, and the majority of Americans are now poor, and they know it. In the 1990s, investments were stripped in the tech bubble, then again in the mortgage meltdown of 2006 which resulted in the most significant transfer of wealth in the US. People are saddled with crippling debt. So despite lies to the contrary, the economy has never fully recovered, people are struggling, and they are looking for a lifeline.
In short, Americans have more in common with the inner-city welfare recipient than the 1%, and they now view Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as necessities for their very survival.
Voters want a safety net because their promise of prosperity has been replaced with a long, slow slide into poverty, and few see a way out. The consolidation of wealth has also become a building of power, with no one looking out for the little guy – probably not beltway Republicans.
Americans are not stupid. They see politicians fighting to protect companies from having to pay a decent wage, and now they want to offer these monuments to greed, even more, benefits starting with a repeal of Obamacare. We are not buying it.
Moreover, this will be the downfall of the Republican tax plan as well. It simply doesn’t appeal to enough Americans, and no amount of lies coming from the mouths of politicians is going to convince us that the GOP proposal will result in a better life for anyone earning under $1 million a year.
The Republicans will do what they did with the healthcare, which is to try to wrap up a tax break for their wealthy donors as some advantage for the average American. They will take the same shoddy legislation and attempt to dress it differently. Their rich, entitled mouthpieces like Trent Franks will spew their nonsense, treating voters like they are stupid. Their lies will be exposed, the public will rise, and the GOP plan will be defeated.
This is why we simply must vote out the Republicans in 2018. They just refuse to act in the best interests of the public. They will continue to attempt to serve their corporate masters at the expense of the voters.
My name is Brianna Westbrook, and I am running in Arizona’s Congressional District 8. I urge you to support progressive candidates in your races so we can restore sanity in Washington.