There’s something egregiously disgusting about the increasingly desperate opposition to the Affordable Care Act. In addition to the breathlessly tenacious campaign to undermine, de-fund and repeal the law, there’s an almost delighted, smirky, satisfied attitude on display that seems especially immoral as various glitches in the ACA emerge. Despite the fact that the ACA’s problems are relatively minor, opponents are practically orgasmic as they systematically inflate each glitch into the portend of the ACA’s demise.
Take for example a conservative talker named Will Cain. No, I didn’t know who he was either until I looked him up. On Mediaite’s pundit “Power Grid,” Cain ranks between Krystal Ball and Margaret Carlson, so he’s somewhat well known. In addition to being a contributor to Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, he also made news a while back when he inexplicably compared the ACA with Jim Crow laws. Yes, the Jim Crow card from a guy who supports Voter ID laws.
Yesterday, Cain appeared on CNN with Ashleigh Banfield to discuss the president’s alleged “lies” regarding people keeping their grandfathered insurance policies if they like them. Cain seemed downright giddy about the two — yes, only two temporary problems with the ACA. Seriously, I rarely yell at my computer screen, but as I watched Cain manically smirk and babble about the ACA with full caffeinated dudebro awfulness, I let the expletives fly.
Banfield introduced Cain by remarking that the flummoxed website and the canceled policies are like “fish in a barrel” for Cain, to which Cain replied through frat-boy laughter, “So alright! You teed it up for me, it’s time to spike it, huh!”
Duh-yuck! Nailed it.
This isn’t a fucking game. It’s not a fun-time political beach-ball for well-insured, wealthy pundits to bat around with their hopelessly flaccid penises. This is a law that will help millions of Americans to not go broke (or worse) if they become sick or injured. It’s the first time in modern history when roughly 30 million Americans will, at long last, be able to afford insurance and, more importantly, not be denied an insurance policy regardless of whether they can afford it. On top of that, the ACA provides landmark consumer protections for people who are already insured, like Will Cain and Ashleigh Banfield, as a means of guaranteeing that they get a square deal. Oh, and bonus, the law reduces the deficit and bends the healthcare cost curve.
So to experience such manic, giggly, school-boy titillation in the face of anything that might undermine the future of this law is utterly cruel and sadistic.
Congratulations, Will Cain, you were handed a softball on CNN. Whoopee! Now zip up, shake off the chicken skin and think for a minute what you’re laughing about. Yes, there are problems with the law. But no one predicted a major overhaul in the American healthcare apparatus would ever be accomplished without some hiccups along the way. Meanwhile, the people who are facing cancellation notices? Blame the insurance companies, not the law. Then thank the ACA because now those people can sign up for better policies with significantly greater benefits and consumer protections.
In a broader sense, this is yet another example of how the modern GOP, hijacked by tea party extremists, has constructed its entire political strategy on both obstructing policies that will grow jobs and the economy, while blocking laws that will enrich the civil rights of every American — whether it’s marriage equality, women’s reproductive rights or the basic human right to receive medical treatment without going bankrupt.
As I wrote the other day, and as I’ve related since the beginning of this debate in 2009, this issue is particularly personal to me since I’ve been unable to buy insurance due to a pre-existing condition. I’m not seeking any handouts or free-rides, of course, and I won’t get any. I’m simply interested in protecting myself and my family in the event I’m ever sick or injured. The Affordable Care Act helps me to achieve that goal — and with absolutely no flesh off the back of Will Cain, other than the potential for a Democratic president to make history with a groundbreaking success story.
Of course that’s the real motivation.
Guys like Will Cain, the Koch Brothers, Ted Cruz and the tea party are determined to score a political victory by stripping me and millions of others of our right to receive healthcare without any accompanying bankruptcies. The campaign to fabricate popular support for the notion that the ACA has “failed” when, in reality, it’s poised to be a major success, threatens both the efficacy and, thus, the future of the law. And if the law goes down, my life and the lives of millions of other Americans will be at risk once again. It turns out that if the ACA is repealed, an estimated 137 million Americans would lose their insurance.
This scenario makes sadists and saboteurs like Will Cain — with their hamfisted volleyball references and snickering concern-trolling — really, really happy.