Let’s be clear that everyone deserves health care, even those people who voted for President-elect Donald Trump and for Republicans in the House and Senate.
Our goal must be to join every other major country on earth in guaranteeing health care for all through a Medicare for All program. pic.twitter.com/RE0Z68hq5p
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 17, 2017
We’re all in this together, whether we’re insured through our employer, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Medicare. All three have a symbiotic relationship with one another. Any adjustment to one of the three affects the other two. So when the Senate passed a bill recently that could lead to the repeal of ACA it created a lot of uncertainty about everyone’s health care in this country, except, of course, for the very rich.
Here’s what Oklahoma’s U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a right-wing extremist from a right-wing state, had to say about the vote:
Last night’s vote paves a path for the Republican-led Senate to follow through on the promise we made to the American people; we are now set and ready to repeal Obamacare. For the last seven years Americans all across the country have been feeling the devastating effects of this law. And Oklahoma has been among the worst hit. Individuals have lost their health plans and many families have seen their hard-earned dollars come up short when it comes to affording their skyrocketing healthcare premiums and deductibles. Repealing Obamacare will give us the opportunity to make things right again and will allow us to work with the incoming administration to ensure our healthcare system actually works for this country.
Of course, none of Inhofe’s indictments of the ACA are true, and he doesn’t even mention all the millions of people who now have insurance and are happy about it.
Inhofe, who has actually been elected office by winning the vote through the years unlike Trump, wouldn’t even dare to mention how the Congressional Budget Office has stated that if the ACA does get repealed with no replacement 18 million people will immediately lose their health insurance and then the number would grow incrementally through the years.
Inhofe hasn’t offered up a real plan to replace so-called Obamacare either nor has any leading Republican done so lately. The issues remain the same as when the ACA was first established, and the only sensible and best financial answer is to go to some type of single-payer system, as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders suggests, but that seems impossible with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
Trump has vaguely said that under some plan that some people are supposedly forming “everybody” will have health insurance. Who knows what’s going to happen? Trump unpredictability is the only predictable thing about him.
Here’s a certainty: It does no good to spend one second thinking that people who voted for Trump deserve to lose their health insurance. First, many people didn’t think and still don’t think it will happen. Maybe it won’t, but that seems unlikely. Second, if the ACA is repealed with no replacement, then that means everyone’s insurance rate will go up because sick people will flood emergency rooms again for treatment and care as a last resort so, well, so they don’t die, and the people with insurance will have to pay for it through increased premiums.
The Senate also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which serves at-risk women for a variety of health reasons, a development in which The Oklahoman editorial board took great delight.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a shill for the oil and gas industry, gets vetted to head the Environmental Protection Agency this week, and Oklahoma’s Toby Keith is one of the few well-known musicians who will performed at Trump’s inauguration.
Great times, at least for now, for some Oklahomans, but then it’s going to get real.