[personal profile] skysailor
So, in a follow-up to the earlier post, which were projected views of a theoretical Republican, here's my actual views on the shutdown shitstorm:

Okay, here's the thing. The United States was the only developed nation without universal healthcare (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447684/). We've got a fifth of our nonelderly without health insurance at any given time, and affordability of healthcare in the US without health insurance isn't really there. Just /living/ in the United States is an immense risk and potential liability. Even insured, you could end up having to pay huge hospital bills. This is reflected in part by our staggering infant mortality rate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate). Our employer-focused healthcare additionally keeps people from being able to easily switch jobs or move into contractor-type positions that don't provide health insurance.

Additionally, in part because of weird complexities of healthcare economics, the old system costs the government and private companies loads. Part of it is that when people can't pay their healthcare bills, /they don't/, and it ends up costing hospitals a ton. Additionally, people without good health coverage can't afford good preventitive care, leading to more problems.

To resolve this, the US introduced and passed a complex bill that's about as right-wing as you can get while still achieving the goal of universal health coverage. (So right-wing, in fact, that it's a copy of a bill passed by the Republican's 2012 presidential candidate.) It's still employer- and insurance-focused, but it does a great deal towards at least making health insurance more affordable for the poor. Under the law, everyone has to get health insurance because that helps pay for the entire damn thing, and to be honest, even if you're healthy, having health insurance is a good idea, anyway. There's a pile of exemptions and a tax penalty that is far lower than the cost of insurance coverage if you really want out of the requirement. And despite misinformation spread around, no, no one's forced out of their insurance plans and buying stuff in the government markets isn't required.

While the bill passed with zero Republican support, /the structure of the bill itself is a concession to Republicans/. We tried to make it palatable, but it seems even stuff invented by Republicans gets rejected by the GOP if Obama promotes it. (There's numerous other articles that give plenty of examples of this phenomenon, so I won't go into that here.)

So here we are, a bill that will make healthcare more affordable to everyone. A first step towards an America where you do not have to lose everything because of treatable ailments.

Except. Except every time we try to get /anything/ done, raising the debt ceiling or passing a budget or anything to try and keep the government /running on a basic level/, the GOP expects us to pay a toll. We've tried to negotiate before, but the Republicans kept insisting it was their way or the highway - remember the debt ceiling fight where they wouldn't allow a cent of tax increases even if it bought them a dollar of entitlement cuts? Compromising and negotiating with the GOP right now is less like a real negotiation and more like trying to talk down a troll's toll to cross the bridge of national stability.

In fact, here's the current negotiating standoff:

The Democrats want to pass a bill that does nothing to effect, delay, or alter current law. No concessions asked, nothing.

The Republicans want a bill that guts, delays, or at least draws some pound of flesh from the healthcare law.

Is the law going to cost something? Yes. But wreaking mass damage on the economy in the form of a shutdown is /not helping/ and it's hurting quite a bit.



January 2016


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