I don’t normally celebrate death. That goes against everything for which I stand. I celebrate, encourage, and delight in life, and took an oath as a doctor that states I will uphold the values of life and first do no harm. That’s why I am so very happy to hear that the Republican response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gasped its last breath yesterday.
Believe me, the ACA is not perfect, but the Republican equivalent was worse. It took them seven years, to the day, to come up with a replacement that allowed the wealthy more tax cuts, cost seniors more money for their health care, and likely would have left 24 million people without any coverage.
Nowhere in the Hippocratic Oath does it say I should support that.
If Paul Ryan and his hero Ayn Rand had a baby, the Republicans’ answer to the ACA would be it. Ayn Rand was the mother of objectivism, an objectionable philosophy that imbues capitalism with morality. It renders personal happiness as the greatest of goods. It is a man attaining his greatest happiness, by his own effort. It is self-actualization at the expense of others. It encourages the individual to act only in their own best interest.
Golden boy Paul Ryan allows the anointed to have the blessing of health care, allowing them to continue up the rungs of the golden ladder, and gives a boot in the face to those at the bottom, looking upward at where they, too, could go. So Christian! So American! NOT. The Christian/American values of the Republican party seem to have gotten the boot in the face instead.
America is at a crossroads. We can continue to keep our collective heads buried in the sand or we can open our eyes to the truth. In the end, we all want the same things. We all want happiness. We all want life. We all want liberty. We all want equality. It’s what America promises us. It can’t just be the promise to some people, to the people with a lot of money, with rich parents, with billion-dollar businesses, it has to be for us all. Health care is not like buying a cell phone or getting your nails done. It isn’t a product to be bought. It is a right. A human right. Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to work together to bring about a sustainable system of providing health care for the American people.
It wasn’t the Democrats who defeated the health care bill, as Trump suggested. In the end, even Republicans didn’t like the Republican alternative. They couldn’t be persuaded that it was better than what the Democrats proposed seven years ago. They knew that seniors and working class Americans would not stand for the changes that Paul Ryan proposed. They gave it the mercy killing we all knew it deserved. The cost for its demise won’t even go to a deductible, this one’s on us.