As any regular reader here knows, there is much I don’t like about the new health care legislation, not the least of which is the requirement to buy health insurance through private for-profit insurance companies. In addition, the measures that sold women down the river have left me livid.
That being said, I cannot figure out what the Republicans are doing.
On the one hand, they vow to “repeal” the legislation.
On the other hand, they are trying to pass legislation that, at least in part, relies on the health care bill to be in place in order to make some sense. See H.R. 3.
And, in some cases. they refuse, to publicly support perfectly sensible research that could ultimately save taxpayers billions of dollars while privately offering assistance to fund that research.
Dr. David Cull, a prominent vascular surgeon in Greenville, had invented a small valve system that, if it works, could spare 300,000 dialysis patients across the country enormous suffering and save U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.
But Cull’s hometown senator, Jim DeMint, would not write a letter supporting the surgeon’s application for a federal grant under the landmark health care bill that President Barack Obama signed into law a year ago today.
A hard-core conservative with a growing national following, DeMint vowed in 2009 to make health care Obama’s “Waterloo” and is leading Republican efforts in Congress to repeal or deny funding to the law, designed to provide medical coverage to 31 million uninsured Americans.
Backing a grant application under the law — even for a constituent who lives in the same Upstate town as DeMint — would leave the senator open to charges of hypocrisy, staffers say.
“Senator DeMint opposed President Obama’s government takeover of health care because he believed it would lead to higher insurance premiums, less choices for patients, and that it was unconstitutional,” said DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton. “And that’s exactly what has happened.”
Of course, some people with very short memories and no critical thinking skills at all will be willing to believe it, and will insist that their premiums never, ever rose until Obamacare (scare quotes!) passed. Horse pucky. Yes, we’ve all seen our health insurance premiums rise, just as they have every single, fucking year for the past umpteen years. We are all so used to getting that annual notice of premium increase with our open enrollment packets, it doesn’t even surprise us any more. That cannot be laid at the feet of the health care bill.
Supporting Dr. Cull would leave DeMint open to charges of hypocrisy? And this wouldn’t?
Cull received a $249,479 grant without DeMint’s help — though the senator’s aides say they provided guidance on applying for it — under a little publicized part of the Affordable Care Act that is aimed at encouraging cutting-edge biomedical research.
To be truly consistent to his “principles,” shouldn’t DeMint have ordered his staff not to assist any of his constituents in applying for any of the funds under the health care bill that he so strongly opposes on super-duper ultra-conservative grounds?
I mean, they think that health care workers who oppose abortion and/or birth control should be free to exercise their rights to refuse service.
But of course, this isn’t about the bill, is it?
This is about doing anything they can to appeal to each and every one of their whackaloon constituents, if not in whole, then in part. And once they get enough of the rubes to vote for them, they win. And they become a part of dismantling, while at the same time sucking at the teat of, the government they so despise.
And we lose.
Because there is nothing conservative, or compassionate, about a man so focused on making Democrats (or one particular Democrat) look bad that he will not support something that could save “The American Taxpayer” – a mythological creature conservatives continually evoke – literally billions of dollars and untold suffering.
And the sad part? He’ll likely get away with it.
I have never understood is why Americans continue to elect people to run the government who insist that “government is the problem” rather than people who have a vision for making government work for the broadest public good.
Would you go to a mechanic who had no interest in fixing your car and instead railed against you for owning and driving one?