If there’s one thing liberals want more than anything else in the world, it’s for conservatives to suffer the consequences of voting Republican and leave the rest of out of their suicide pact. And according to Vox, at least as far as having health insurance, we may be getting what we want:
The nonprofit Commonwealth Fund released new data Monday showing that the uninsured rate rose in the first few months of this year, rising from 12.7 percent at the end of 2016 to 15.5 percent in the first three months of 2018.
That’s terrible considering the country was finally moving in the right direction. If Republicans hadn’t spent the last 8 years doing everything possible to sabotage the law, who knows how much lower that number would have been? But they got their wish, the number of uninsured is on the rise. The good news is that liberals got their wish, too: The overwhelming majority of those newly uninsured are all Republicans.
Vox’s Sarah Kliff quotes Sara Collins, V.P. for coverage at the Commonwealth Fund and the lead author of the report, and neither of them are quite sure what’s going on:
“I can’t explain the increase among people who identify as Republicans,” Collins says. “I can speculate that it might have to do with the repeal and replace efforts, or a general sense of confusion. But right now it’s confusing and perplexing, and I don’t really know the cause.”
I’m also speculating here, too, but my hunch is that this could have to do with how different states responded to the Trump administration’s work to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Liberal states kept investing in outreach work, while Republican-led states did not. That might be one other reason you see this political divergence in uninsured rates, too.
I would also suggest that a lot of Republican voters have bought into the oft-repeated lie that Obamacare is the worst thing of all time. Trump leaned on that button heavily leading up to the election and the numerous failed attempts to repeal it throughout 2017. This would easily account for why Republican numbers were impacted but not Democratic: Democrats as a rule don’t believe anything Trump says so why would they listen to him about Obamacare? At the same time, Republicans fully believed it was about to be repealed so why sign up for it while Democrats would have rushed out to sign up in hopes they could hold on to their insurance afterwards, kind of like how right wing gun nuts rush out after every gun massacre in the belief that all guns are about to be banned.
Now that Republicans have, for the moment, given up trying to repeal the ACA, Trump spends very little time talking about it and it wouldn’t be surprising to see enrollment go up a bit this year without the constant negative reinforcement. Should the Democrats take control of one or both chambers of Congress, Trump may even grudgingly sign some fixes into law in order to boost his popularity. It’s not like he has any kind of ideology beyond racism and self-promotion.
The bottom line is that even though Republican voters are driving up healthcare costs for everyone with their mindless actions, it’s gratifying to see they’re finally taking the burnt of the pain they’re inflicting on the country. Since they’re manifestly incapable of tasking personal responsibility for anything they do, karma is stepping in and doing it for them.
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.