As 2017 dawns and the Republicans prepare to take control of both houses of Congress and the White House, a life or death matter looms for millions of Americans who currently have health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare: The GOP says it’s full steam ahead on repeal of the ACA. Why are they so damn eager to eliminate healthcare for tens of millions? Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says the GOP’s motive goes beyond their free market zeal.
For years, Republicans have been hoping and praying for a predicted Obamacare death spiral, but it has yet to materialize, and now the GOP faces a much more terrifying prospect, Krugman explains:
“Despite higher premiums, enrollments in the exchanges are running ahead of their levels a year ago. Meanwhile, analysts are reporting substantial financial improvement for insurers: The premium hikes are doing the job, ending their losses.”
Should the Republicans let the program continue to grow and expand, becoming more popular and financially stable with each passing day, it would be even more difficult for them to rip coverage away from millions of Americans who have decent, affordable heath insurance. As Krugman notes:
“Republican congressional leaders like Paul Ryan nonetheless seem eager to push ahead with repeal. In fact, they seem to be in a great rush, probably because they’re afraid that if they don’t unravel health reform in the very first weeks of the Trump era, rank-and-file members of Congress will start hearing from constituents who really, really don’t want to lose their insurance.”
At a much deeper level, the real reason the GOP hates the Affordable Care Act so much can be distilled down to two main points:
- The ACA is paid for in part by higher taxes on wealthy Americans. Now that the GOP is in control, they are going to do everything they can to give their rich contributors as many tax cuts as they can.
- Republicans don’t think the government should play any role in improving the lives of average Americans. It doesn’t fit into their Ayn Rand theory of Objectivism. The GOP thinks that if you don’t have decent healthcare, it’s all your fault.
Krugman concludes his analysis with this reminder:
“When the number of uninsured Americans skyrockets on their watch, they’ll claim that it’s not their fault. Like everything, it’s the fault of liberal elites.”
And it’s our job to call them out for their lies.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org