If you’re looking for legitimate criticism of the Senate Republican health care bill, better known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, you’ll find it in the four GOP senators who are currently holding out on voting for the bill.
We’re only two weeks removed from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise getting shot and Democrats are already claiming that the Republican party is trying to kill people. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted and has repeatedly said, “Thousands of people will die if the Republican health care bill becomes law.”
One liberal blogger, John Stanton, went as far as to write an article in the Russian site Pravda titled, “Trump, Republicans Seek to Euthanize 80 Million Young and Old Americans.”
Stanton’s main gripe with the Senate bill is that Medicaid’s funding will eventually be cut.
“It is difficult to comprehend why Republican voters are so inclined to watch as their fellow citizens are likely to be cut off from the lifeline that is Medicaid,” Stanton wrote. “It is more appalling, I suppose, to see the Democrats and their constituents standing by, not fighting the Trump-Republican madness, offering no plan and playing it safe in hopes of winning congressional seats in the 2018 elections. In fact, they seem willing to sacrifice those 80 million Americans just to retain their house and senate seats.”
This analysis is obviously shortsighted and gives rise to the type of fear-mongering that led to James T. Hodgkinson to pick up a rifle and shoot at GOP lawmakers at a baseball practice.
The truth is is that Republicans aren’t looking to throw granny off the cliff by reducing funding to Medicaid. The idea is to make private sector health insurance cheap enough for low-income individuals and families so that they buy into it and automatically get better access to higher quality care. If that’s considered euthanizing 80 million people, then Democrats seem awfully keen in ensuring that those on Medicaid have less access to care. And the medical treatment they do receive is bottom shelf.
The Senate health care bill needs work, there’s no denying that. A full repeal of Obamacare (and starting over) is better than what the Republicans have presented in “Obamacare Lite.” However, the philosophical argument that Republicans want poor people to die is misleading and doesn’t represent what the GOP is actually trying to do.
Partisanship is a disease, and no amount of government-subsidized health insurance can cure it.