Top 20 Reasons Why Republicans Want to Repeal Obamacare (video)

elysium-NLIn Elysium, Matt Damon’s 2013 post-apocalyptic drama, the 1% are safely ensconced on a idyllic floating space station (Elysium). In contrast, the 99% toil in poverty and grime and suffer from police oppression on Earth, which has been destroyed by pollution and over-crowding.

Early on in Elysium, Damon, a former thug who works in a giant factory with no safety equipment, workplace regulations, or human resources protections, has an industrial accident and is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. Fellow workers hear his screams from the radiation chamber and try valiantly to get him out, but the supervisor tells them to leave him in there and go back to work “because he’s already dead”. After the exposure, they drag Damon out (literally) and take him to the factory clinic. When the CEO sees him, he tells the supervisor to send Damon home before he soils the sheets. At several junctures in the movie, the dire, dirty conditions on Earth are juxtaposed with the gleaming perfection of Elysium, but the contrast in healthcare is the most stark. On Elysium, people have high-tech, full-body scanners that can cure all diseases. On Earth, people are left to die.

At one point, the CEO says to a worker whose daughter is dying, “This isn’t Elysium. We can’t just heal her.” This movie is the Koch Brothers’ wet dream and our nightmare. If the Republican Party could get away with it, this is where we will be by 2154 (the date of the movie) or sooner. Getting rid of the Affordable Care Act and social safety net programs are the first steps.

Speaker of the House John Boehner and newly anointed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time after Tuesday’s election announcing their intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also know as Obamacare or ACA). Why has the Republican Party been working since 2010 to repeal a health insurance program that the majority of Americans like and that now covers 12.5 million people who previously didn’t have health insurance?

Here are the top 20 reasons why Republicans want to repeal Obamacare…

20- It’s all they have been talking about for four years. They don’t have any other ideas.

19- It is completely irrelevant to them that 12.5 million Americans now have health care insurance who didn’t have it before.

18- It is completely irrelevant to them that pre-existing conditions have been banned.

17- It is completely irrelevant to them that preventive services are free.

16- It is completely irrelevant to them that women are no longer discriminated against in pricing.

15- It is completely irrelevant to them that college students can be covered by their parents’ plans.

14- It is completely irrelevant to them that fewer people may go bankrupt from medical bills.

13- It is completely irrelevant to them that the ACA has created thousands of good-paying jobs.

12- It’s not just irrelevant but downright unconscionable that those slutty bitches have access to women’s health services and contraception. (Can’t they just put aspirin between their knees?)

11- It is completely irrelevant to them that in most red states millions of people can’t afford medical care and, consequently, will be sicker and die younger because Republicans have refused to expand Medicaid.

10- Clinics and large physician practices make money on unnecessary medical tests. Let the market be free. A sucker is born every minute.

9- Health insurance companies don’t like having to spend 80% of the money they take in on providing medical care to us.

8- Health insurance companies want to go back to the days of offering worthless high-deductible plans that don’t cover anything. They liked the “you-pay-we-deny-benefits” system. Remember those super cheap plans that Republicans fought hard for people to keep? Those plans were cheap because the benefits were so limited that they didn’t even cover basic services.

7- Drug companies are scared that someday the government will get smart and negotiate volume discounts on drugs used by ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid patients. Every other country in the world negotiates volume discounts; the Republicans stopped that idea in the Congress years ago.

6- Down with Obamacare! is a popular sound bite with old white men, and they vote Republican.

5- When President Obama vetoes Republican Obamacare repeal bills, it will give them more fuel for negative attack ads during the next election cycle.

4- It’s all about corporate profits.

3- The Republicans’ corporate masters told them to get rid of affordable healthcare. Health insurance companies were making more money when they could charge high premiums, discriminate against women, and deny care to the sick and the poor. (They liked the previous system in which they could charge whatever they wanted and provide as little service as possible.)

2- Multinational corporations can spend billions to buy elections, but they don’t want to spend a penny to help their employees stay healthy and live longer. It’s not business friendly. Who cares if people die younger when they don’t have access to care? After all, what’s wrong with just letting them die, like Matt Damon in the radiation chamber?

1- Republicans have been chipping away at the New Deal and the War on Poverty for decades. Eliminating Obamacare before people realize it’s good for them is just one step on the road back to 1850. Here’s the Elysium trailer.

10 responses to “Top 20 Reasons Why Republicans Want to Repeal Obamacare (video)

  1. This is why conservatives hate the ACA. They have a different and skewed world view. By George Lakoff:
    “Conservatives, on the other hand, have a very different view of democracy. For them democracy is supposed to provide them with the liberty to do what they want, without being responsible for others and without others being responsible for them. For them, there is only personal responsibility, not social responsibility. Indeed, providing public resources is, to a conservative, immoral, taking away personal responsibility, making people dependent, lazy, unable to take care of themselves. Removing public resources is seen as providing incentives, and individual liberty is seen as the condition in which you can carry out your incentives.

    This is very much what conservative morality is about. If you cannot succeed through personal responsibility, you deserve what you get.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/06/1342513/-Democratic-Strategies-Lost-Big-Here-s-an-alternative

    • Patricia, the problem with this regressive utopia (not conservative because they don’t conserve anything except their power and money) is that there is widespread discrimination and repression of minorities, women, and the poor in the US, and the largest inequality gap ever. With Republicans in power, all of this will get worse… guaranteed. This Davy Crockett “every-man-for-himself” ideal didn’t even work in the 1850s. Why does anyone think it will work now, when the playing field is not only not level, it’s a cliff for some people.

      When the 1% babies start out with the best education, food, opportunities, and Daddy’s billion-dollar trust fund, there is no level playing field.

      When unarmed black men are shot by police, incarcerated at higher rates than anyone else, and denied the right to vote through widespread voter suppression, there is no level playing field.

      When young women are forced to have children they don’t want and can’t afford because Republicans have restricted their right to legal medical procedure and closed all of the clinics in the state, there is no level playing field.

      When young parents have to work 2-3 crappy low-wage jobs just to make ends meet, and their children are left alone with no food in a rundown apartment– let alone no help with their homework– there is no level playing field.

      When brown people can be rounded up and thrown into for-profit prisons just to keep up incarceration quotas (and profits up) and then a frickin’ lobbyist for said private prisons promises more of the same AND GETS ELECTED AG, there is no level playing field.

      This is no longer the Land of Lincoln, where a poor rural man can get elected president with good idea, a strong moral character, and no money.

      • There are so many – well, for politeness I will call them distortions – in this skreed that I could write a book, but it would be a waste. So let me just ask one question: Regarding the “… 2-3 crappy low-wage jobs…” that your poor is working, what happened to the glowing jobs report you all are bragging about that proves Obama is a giant among men? Doesn’t that kind of indicate that the job report reflects thousands of “crappy low-wage jobs” rather than a bright and brilliant job market?

  2. If we are going to learn lessons from this movie, a more practical – and much more realistic – lesson to take away from it is to never allow the ruling class to take away your right to keep and bear arms. That was at the heart of the entire movie. As long as you are unarmed, you are helpless.

  3. My God! You have to refer to a hollywood film about an imaginary people in an imaginary time in an imaginary place in an imaginary situation in order to rationalize your imaginary 20-point screed against the GOP and their desire to repeal the ACA?!?!? I hate to say this, but this is about the dumbest thing I have read that you wrote.

    I happen to believe that there are good things about the ACA, but there are facets of it that were written in haste and need corrected. The GOP is wrong in trying to get rid of it. But rather than dig their heels in like a donkey (pardon the pun) and refuse to budge on even a single item, the Denocrats should meet with the GOP and negotiate a better ACA. The GOP should do the same.

    But as long as Democrats take the position you do, it may well turn out that the ACA COULD be repealed and then what do we have? You see, a lot of people got insurance under the ACA and are happy little clams, but a large number lost insurance under it because it was too expensive and they are NOT pleased with it. There is no surprise in that. That is why there are exponentially increasing tax penalties if you fail to buy acceptable insurance under the ACA.

    I want to see the ACA improved, not eliminated. If you REALLY care about those 20-points, you need to rethink it a little.

    • That ole “selective memory” is kicking in again!

      http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct/15/opinion/la-oe-mansbridge-obamacare-democrats-single-payer-20131015

      Two different narratives have been at play in Washington lately to explain what caused the government shutdown. In the first, House Republicans are to blame for trying to hold Democrats and the president hostage over a law that was duly passed by Congress. In the other, Democrats are to blame for their rigid refusal to compromise on Obamacare.

      But there’s a part of the story that seemingly has been lost in history: Democrats have already compromised on healthcare reform by adopting Obama/RomneyCare in the first place.

      snip/

      Still, this compromise of abandoning a single-payer system for a public option was not enough for Republicans and some conservative Democrats. Even though a public option was included in both the House and Senate versions of healthcare reform, politics prevailed and yet another huge concession was made. Instead of a single-payer system or even a public option for those who chose it, Democrats went along with the Obama compromise of adopting RomneyCare, the old Republican plan signed into law by Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts.

      This plan builds on the existing system of insurers and insurance plans and was explicitly designed to mimic previous Republican plans in order to assure passage in Congress. Notably, it includes the “individual mandate,” which 19 Republicans first proposed in 1993 as a legislative alternative to President Clinton’s healthcare reform bill. Today, Republicans attack the individual mandate as unconstitutional.

      Honestly…

      • It makes me a little sad. There is an old Indian (not Native American) story of a group of wise men who were supposed to design a mongoose. They labored for months and when they were through they unveiled an elephant. Despite the good it has done, maybe the ACA should be repealed. I would hate to see that, but if there if there is no room to improve it, well…whatever happens will happen.

        Thank you for the background. I didn’t know that…

        • Thanks for the details, Cheri. You saved me the time of schooling Steve on history. Here is more background.

          The original basis for Obamacare predates Hillary Clinton’s work on healthcare reform in the early 1990s. Obamacare/Romneycare and that dreaded (sarcasm) individual mandate were cooked up by the Heritage Foundation, a premier right-wing think tank.
          http://americablog.com/2013/10/original-1989-document-heritage-foundation-created-obamacares-individual-mandate.html

          So– Romneycare/Obamacare is a REPUBLICAN model; it was their plan to save the for-profit insurance companies, while expanding coverage and lowering costs. I agree with Cheri. Obama compromised too much at the beginning of the process by throwing out single payer (Medicare for all) and bailing on the public option.

          The absurdity of a major political party in one of the richest countries in the world fighting to KEEP large swaths of the populace ignorant, poor, unhealthy, and incarcerated is mind-boggling.

          • Okay, you all have convinced me that any sort of compromise is impossible. It is either all or nothing. Too bad.

  4. Donna Gratehouse

    Great essay, Pamela.