Democracy dies in the dark. When political agendas and the pursuit of power are the prime motives, the public good is abandoned. Ergo, rule by the few becomes an aristocracy, kleptocracy, or some other form of authoritarianism. What Republican leaders are causing to transpire in the U.S. Senate in regard to the new “Trumpcare” bill is nothing short of a major step towards the death of our democracy.
Without any public input, committee hearings or testimonies, this bill was written in secret and then made public, again without hearings. In the next few days, this bill, which would affect one-sixth of the US economy, will be voted on. If passed, it would eliminate over 20 million Americans from healthcare services and impact nearly every American, from our parents to our grandparents in need of caregiving to our children struggling with asthma or opioid addiction to our loved ones battling cancer. Medicaid will essentially cease to exist after 2025.
Some 20 percent of Americans are enrolled in Medicaid; 39 percent of children are enrolled in Medicaid; 49 percent of births are covered by Medicaid; and nearly two-thirds of nursing- home patients are covered by Medicaid. The bill would eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides reproductive healthcare, cancer screenings, and a wide assortment of other healthcare services. It would also eliminate the employer mandate to provide insurance, adversely affecting working-class families that depend on employer-provided insurance.
And, of course, there is the money factor. Because this bill mainly takes healthcare away from the poor and working class and in return gives huge tax incentives to the wealthy, it is essentially what the Republicans would define as a “tax reform” bill, not a healthcare bill.
In short, this bill crafted in secret, without public input, that guts healthcare to millions of Americans and shifts billions of tax dollars to the wealthy, was written for reasons other than the public good. It is not democratic. It is contemptible, immoral, and cruel. Furthermore, to support such an attack on the poor and middle classes is unjustifiable to anyone who can honestly say they are Christian.
David R. James