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The GOP Will Free You from Having Health Care


The GOP Will Free You from Having Health Care

Jim Hightower

When I think of freedom, I think of it in positive, aspirational terms — our First Amendment freedoms, for example, or FDR's "Four freedoms" or the uplifting songs of freedom sung by oppressed people around the globe.

But right-wing, corporate-funded ideologues have fabricated a new negative notion of "freedoms" derived from individual choice. You're free to be poor, free to be politically powerless or free to be ill and uncared for — it's all a matter of decisions you freely make in life, and our larger society has no business interfering with your free will.


Bernie or bust: oh, shit, it’s bust.


You sound like your making an excuse to sit on your butt and do nothing. Stop Whining. Progress has always been slow and not always what we dream about in the big picture. Work to get good people elected and stop being so negative. Whining and negativity is for losers.


It’s the consequence of two centuries of using the word “freedom” as a verbal flag wave, an answer to the question What makes America the greatest nation on earth – Freedom!

Now the Republican have come out with a publicly stated version of the word: freedom in their view is being free to buy what you can afford, If you feel you really need something but don’t have the purchase price, the seller is “free” to say you can’t have it until you can come up with the money. If you can’t then they are free to believe that it’s because you have not shown enough “personal responsibility” to get the money to pay for what you want and think you need.

It used to be the belief that privately funded churches and charities would be there to help out those who for no fault of their own (of course) were strapped for cash allowing those with money to be “free” to decide who deserves a little unearned help.

But you don’t hear much about charity these days. You don’t get many answers to questions like What are temporarily or chronically poor people to do? Deep down the believers in this crual economic and social system believe that people who can’t pay are being punished and must deserve it or it wouldn’t be happening to them. They are now being emboldened to come right out and say it:

If people can’t pay, they are believed to be “free” to suffer and die,


Amen. I see way too much the-progressive-revolution-will-only-come-if-things-are-wrecked thinking. Way too much yelling at Democrats as if all 435 congressional districts are filled with Sanders supporters is a feature too. The chit McConnell cashed in 2016, was a Supreme Court appointment to cap whatever achievements progressives can achieve and the wreckage of financial oversight and healthcare knowing the Democratic Senate calendar is rough in 2018. If progressives don’t want to build coalitions so they can govern, not bitch, nothing will be achieved, ever. Progressives are not a majority in this country right now, which the hard right controls.


The flip side of this Republican health care push is that what’s left of Obamacare is not getting the upgrades it needs to survive. Insurance premiums for many are going up, drastically. Hard to predict, of course, how many will opt out of Obamacare because they can no longer afford health insurance, but it will be substantial. One way or the other, the number of Americans without health insurance is on the rise. It’s a win-win situation for corporate America.


Trump is wrecking it purposefully. What should be clear though, is that insurers are getting the real bill they want from Republicans. They aren’t running advertisements against the bill and, while voicing nominal issues with it, have stayed silent overall. All the folks on here who think the ACA was a giveaway to insurers (just stupid, sorry) can enjoy the fruits of their ignorance now. Community rating, quality of care provisions, medical loss ratios, minimal essential coverage benefits, and the ban on annual caps will be gone. The special tax break that CEOs of insurance firms enjoyed prior to the ACA will be reinstated too. Yay! To top it off, Medicaid will now be block granted, meaning less generous over time, and premium support will be gone. Oh, and the Supreme Court is now back in Republican hands. One more pick and the single payer “revolution” that’s supposed to come from wrecking the ACA will surely be just around the corner, right?

Here Are the 19 Senate Democrats Still Not Committed to Defending Net Neutrality

“When you’ve got 60 percent of your party’s rank-and-file congressional members ready to go on such a basic issue, and 60 percent of the public is also ready to go — it’s time to go!”

And in addition to the above support - about three-quarters of Democratic leaning voters supporting some form of federal funded healthcare for all.

The gall of ‘public servants’ like Pelosi to defy the will of a large majority of the electorate they demand vote for them.


In the discussion we’ve been having about Democrats, the central point really comes down to a matter of degree, I think. From the article:

I’m with Hightower on that, completely with him. I’d go further and say the 60% of Dems should intmidate the 40% into silence and force them to go along for the ride, which is just good ol’ fashioned party politics.

From your comment, I kind of get the feeling you disagree. If so, what’s the cut-off point? 65%? 75%? 85%? There’s got to be a number that makes it safe to do the right thing.


As explained by Utah Republican Chaffetz, “‘Americans have choices. And so maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.’”

Oh Mr. Chaffetz, you make it all so clear - just like, maybe, rather than buying food for the children they “just love,” parents should exercise their free choice and invest in pediatric well visits instead.




The Trump/GOP Regime has all the money and the guns. We need new solutions. Maybe Artificial Intelligence, Blockchains, Bitcoin, Extraterrestrials…

Direct Democracy


I am a big single payer supporter. I just don’t know how you get it after trashing the people you need to support it. Here in California, some activists seem to do nothing but that. Well, if a single payer bill passes, it’s going to face voters via the popular ballot one way or another. After spending a significant amount of time telling voters not to trust Democrats, how are those Democratic legislators going to go to their districts and explain the need to pass a large payroll tax increase? What is the response going to be when Republicans have a field day playing commercials with quotes from the president of National Nurses United attacking Democrats?

I just think coalition politics is important, especially when you are talking about upending a mature market. Progressives have the numbers to sink a Democratic presidential campaign, sure, but do they have the numbers to trash everyone else on their side (centrists make up a lot of independent voters) and get a single payer bill passed in a state where any bill that comes out of the legislature is going to face a popular vote ballot proposition? Sell me on it, and I’ll join the trash the party chorus. Otherwise, I feel like I’ll be taking advice from the same people who told me not to think about the Supreme Court, not to think about the DOJ, and not to think about NEPA in the last election.


To add to my point, this seems like a great time for a progressive tantrum:


Sure, coalition politics is the only currently practical way to achieve things, but it seems that whenever anyone talks about that, it’s always the “progressives” doing the compromising, even when they’re in the majority. They’re the ones who have to be quiet. They’re the ones that have to listen to the minority of their party and make all the concessions.

I don’t believe I said anything about the 60% of Democrats publicly trashing the other 40%. The way I see it, the problem is that 40% includes 100% of the Democratic leadership in DC, which is why I say that it’s pretty clear that the Democrats don’t want progressives in their party (and please don’t forget how the Obama administration treated them).

If the only choice you can offer is between Schumer/Pelosi on one hand and Jim Hightower on the other, I’ll go with Hightower every time.


Well, I see the party changing and some progressives unwilling to acknowledge it. If this were 2001, you’d have a few Democratic House members negotiate with Republicans on the healthcare bill. In the Senate, Joe Manchin would be meeting with the secret cadre of Republicans working to craft the bill. Instead, that’s not happening at all. Even vulnerable Democrats aren’t joining them–that’s progress.

What’s more, the party will change if more progressives are elected. That’s just history. The Democratic Party was once the party of racism and southern rights. After civil rights oriented Democrats from western and northeastern states began winning seats, the party changed, right? After Reagan’s massive reelection in 1984, people associated with Gary Hart’s campaign, a campaign that got the youth vote in massive numbers during the primary, formed the DLC. While we hate it now, at the time, it was a “fresh” ideas organization that came into vogue after the 84 loss. Its candidates began winning and the party changed then.

Right now, progressives are amped up, but we are actually in a pretty big rut. A party that hates progressivism, hates centrism, and hates anything that’s not hard right, controls everything. I just don’t see what fighting with voters who we need on our side achieves, let alone focusing on the Democratic Party as an unchangeable monolith, but that’s me.


No successful nation has ever been libretarian in nature.
Says a lot about where we are headed, doesn’t it?


Where headed? A nation whose upper classes feel that they have a moral duty to keep the poor and lower classes from having ‘too much’ without having to pay for it.


On the other hand, if the D party is nearly indistinguishable from the R party, who gives a toss which of the corporate war parties is in charge? Does tie color mean that much to you? I sure hope you didn’t bitch about progressives not supporting Clinton. Because, lamentably, her ilk led us closer to fulfilling the things-are-wrecked state you’re indicating. I guess progressives just shouldn’t be do dang, well, progressive…


“safe to do the right thing”. Sad.