Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 2:08 pm | A Few Clouds 60º

 
 
 
 

Jim Hightower: Let’s Consider the GOP’s Health-Care Plan

Pigheaded Republicans are so focused on repealing Obamacare that they've failed to offer an alternative

Here’s some useful advice from an old country saying: Never try to teach table manners to a pig — it doesn’t work, it’ll wear you out and it just annoys the pig.

The same advice goes for anyone who thinks they can teach even a bit of common sense to the preening political ideologues who’ve taken over the Republican Party and the U.S. House of Representatives. As we’ve seen in their incessant, pigheaded attacks on the health-care reform law, their minds are not merely fogged up with extremist anti-government theories, they’re impervious to rational thought.

They failed to defeat Obamacare in 2010, despite trying to scare old people with mindless lies about “death panels.” Now they’re trying to repeal the law by getting people to swallow their hogwash that it contains “a massive tax hike on the middle class.”

Really? No. One, it’s not massive; two, it’s a payment for direct benefit that people will receive, namely decent health-care coverage; three, very few people will have to pay the so-called “tax” at all; and four, many people and small business will get tax credits and federal assistance to offset the cost of coverage.

Their greatest failure, however, is that they offer no alternative to Obamacare. During the debate on their latest attempt to repeal the law, a Democratic lawmaker asked for a copy of the GOP’s health-care plan so he could read it aloud to other members. Silence in the chamber.

The Republicans’ political slogan has been to “repeal and replace” Obama’s reform, but they’ve dropped the replace part, saying they can’t offer an alternative until they complete the repeal.

No surprise — I doubt this bunch can walk and chew gun at the same time. Though they’re a tenacious bunch! Maybe not tenacious, more like dogmatic, obstinate and obtuse, too. Pigheaded — yeah, that’s it.

So, once again, on July 11, GOP lawmakers threw a group hissy fit on the floor of the House over the Affordable Care Act that Obama and the Democrats passed two years ago — a law the Supreme Court has just recently ruled to be constitutional. The House Repubs hate, hate, hate that law. So, all 244 GOP members pursed their lips in a collective pout and voted in lockstep to outright repeal the blanket-blank ACA. That’ll show Obama who’s boss, they crowed!

Well, not really, since their “repeal” won’t pass the Senate, much less get past the president’s veto pen. But these pouty solons aren’t really interested in legislating — they’re into political peacocking, putting on a show for the fans in the far-right-wing bleachers. And apparently it’s an interminable farce, for this was the 31st time that they’ve voted to repeal the law!

Thirty-one replays with the same do-nothing result. Don’t they have real work to do? At some point (probably back at about vote number 20 or 25), they crossed over from appearing ideologically steadfast ... to just plain stupid.

They snidely assailed the health-care reform as “Obamacare,” as though that’s a pejorative. But as the law has begun taking affect, more and more Americans are liking it a lot, because it produces real benefits for us. Start with the 30 million people who get help in affording prescription drugs, plus all of us who get some relief from the gouging and constant denial of coverage by monopolistic insurance giants, and Obamacare becomes a label of pride.

If I were him, I’d run on it — and go after the petty politicos who’re trying to take away the benefits it provides for people.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >