“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Can we add healthcare to this list now, too?

It’s no coincidence that the death of Republicare/Trumpcare/TaxCutCare in the Senate (again) marks my return to writing for The Next Ten Words. I’d actually been searching for a topic to pull me out of my post-moving slump, and what better to do that than a Mitch McConnell failure spectacle?

The above quote by President Eisenhower rings true today in some way or another, but the tiny splinter group he mentions now actually seems to run the whole country: a scenario I’m sure any political historian or politician would not have expected this time eight years ago, or even last year for that matter.

But what actually makes this continuous failure even more enjoyable for somebody opposed to a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the ineptitude of those involved. The GOP runs the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House, and despite this, they still weren’t able to pass any kind of legislation they put forward to fix or replace Obamacare.

And now there’s nobody to blame but themselves. McConnell and Co. couldn’t draft any legislation where less than 15 million people would lose their health insurance. Not only is this pathetic, but it’s also traitorous.

McConnell took an oath when he was elected. The oath states that McConnell will “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” but he seems to have broken that oath, becoming a domestic enemy himself, considering his latest attempt at a complete repeal of the ACA. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that 32 million people would lose health insurance if the ACA was repealed without a replacement.

Of course, the Democrats and “libruls” will be blamed for GOP incompetence, because Republicans are currently relying on low-information, ignorant voters who desperately cling to their party to justify why rich people need a tax cut in return for their health. Once again voting against their own special interests because the President wears a red tie.

McConnell already released a statement saying “it’s regretful that our Democratic colleagues decided early on that they did not want to engage with us in the process.”

But the fact of the matter is; Democrats weren’t even invited to participate in drafting the bill. Most Republicans weren’t invited either, and they tried to push a vote through before a CBO score, which proves how terrible the legislation really was.

The Republicans have been saying “repeal,” or “repeal and replace,” for seven years. SEVEN. And this is what they come up with.

Seven years is a long time to hold a grudge against somebody, especially when the ACA had its roots deep in the GOP to begin with (see: Mitt Romney), but it has always astounded me how much distaste and disrespect the GOP showed Barack Obama.

The Affordable Care Act had a very positive CBO score, which is quite refreshing considering the two most recent ones I had to read. It predicted that the number of nonelderly people lacking health insurance would drop to 30 million in 2016. The number was actually 27.9 million. A resounding success, you’d think, but Obama wears a blue tie and he’s a brown guy, so fuck him, right?

I’m going to revert back to an argument I made in a past article, and I assume the argument will be made many more times until we see real change, but surely this is now the time to work together on healthcare reform.

There’s simply no Republican-only solution that benefits anybody but the rich, proven by a small number of GOP Senators with spines, namely Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

People enjoy living. They enjoy being able to live their lives free of fear that a small accident could ruin them financially, or worse, kill them. Once this weight is lifted off their shoulders, they’re unlikely to want somebody to drop the anvil right back on them. Especially from somebody with tax-payer subsidized healthcare.

The further you divide, the further away you get from real change.

An old saying has never been more apt. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”


This article was edited by Rachel Wohrlin

Ryan Oldham is a political correspondent for The Next Ten Words. Contact him at ryanoldhamntw@gmail.com

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