Do Republicans get sick?
FLINT — Don’t people who vote Republican get sick?
I wondered that as I watched President Trump and House Republicans high-fiving in the Rose Garden after passing a bill to undo Obamacare.
Presumably, the people who elected them were thrilled, too: “No more Obamacare! Whoo-hoo! Isn’t it great?!”
Yes. Great. Except for this: Millions and millions of people — 24 million, in fact, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of this bill’s forerunner — will lose health insurance.
Presumably, half of those people identify as Republicans, or at least as non-Democrats.
So I ask again: Don’t they get sick?
Aren’t they ever injured?
Don’t they grow old?
Don’t they ever need care?
And if they don’t, doesn’t anyone they know — their parents, their kids, their friends, their neighbors?
Or this: Haven’t they ever lost a job and with it health insurance? Don’t they worry about losing their life savings because of one illness?
Or can they all afford health insurance so to hell with anyone else? If so, as the bracelet goes, “What would Jesus say?” I ask because the GOP is His party, or so we’re repeatedly told. My guess, if I can be presumptuous, is He’d say: “Love one another, and that includes helping each other stay healthy.”
Just a guess.
I don’t understand any of this, to be honest. I don’t understand the GOP’s glee at the notion of killing something that — while truly flawed — is helping people. Why don’t they just fix it? Or better yet, pass universal health coverage, like most major nations?
I don’t understand why replacing something that they perceive as “bad” with something that is clearly worse is a good thing.
I don’t understand how grown men and women can — without a trace of shame — pass a bill without reading it after hounding Democrats for the past seven years for doing the same thing. Are they irony-challenged? Do they think we’re stupid?
Above all, I don’t understand why anyone would support a health care bill that allows insurers to charge more for pre-existing conditions.
Don’t a lot of us have those?
It’s largely a myth, by the way, according to the Washington Post’s fact-checkers, that rape and domestic violence would be considered pre-existing conditions.
But it’s not a myth that pregnancy, heart disease, cancer, mental disorders, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS and a host of other maladies would be.
So I ask again: Don’t Republican supporters suffer from any of these things? Wouldn’t they freak out if they lost a job and their coverage then went to the Trumpcare exchange (and, by god, that’s what it’s going to be called from here on out) to buy a replacement policy only to be told, “Sure, but it’s gonna cost you a lot more if you’ve ever been sick”?
Wouldn’t that infuriate them? Wouldn’t they think “How is right to charge someone more for being human?”
We all get sick, after all. None of us – except for the wealthy – can afford modern health care without insurance.
I think we can at least agree on that.
So tell me again how this bill is a good thing?
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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.