The Republican Party’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare has given Democrats in the Bernie Sanders wing of the party the opportunity they’ve been waiting for. The opportunity that was, indeed, built right into the Affordable Care Act from the beginning. The opportunity to take the (intentionally) failing husk of Obamacare and build upon it the first vestiges of a socialist American healthcare system. And we are seeing the beginning stages of that construction in Congress today.
On Wednesday, Sen. Sanders introduced his much-ballyhooed “Medicare for All” bill to a nauseating amount of support within the Democratic Party.
“Instead of wasting hundreds of billions of dollars trying to administer an enormously complicated system of hundreds of separate insurance plans, there would be one insurance plan for the American people with one single payer,” Sanders said.
For an idea that has long lingered on the fringes of the Democratic Party, Sanders’ version of socialized medicine has attracted some big-name supporters. While the leadership remains skeptical, heavy hitters like Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey – both of them potential 2020 presidential contenders – have thrown their support behind the bill. And while we don’t particularly need to worry about Sanders’ bill becoming law, the fact that it is getting this much mainstream support shows that Republicans are in danger of losing this fight…big league.
Like many of the left’s big ticket ideas, universal healthcare is one of those concepts that is depressingly easy to sell in sound-bite messages to the lowest of the low-information voting public. Why WOULDN’T you want free healthcare? Wouldn’t you love to stop worrying about that pesky health insurance bill at the end of the month? And hey, if you make less than X, it’s probably not going to cost you a dime. In fact, if your employer is currently taking money out of your check to pay for your insurance, you’ll almost certainly come out ahead.
This is populism 101, and it is dangerously effective – especially in the age of short attention span America.
This country was founded on the principle of opportunity. But thanks to some extraordinary failures on the conservative side of the political divide, it is quickly becoming a country based on giveaways. Not only are we created equal, we are being forced to live equal, regardless of our individual ambitions, skills, and desires. We are being turned into a mass collective, controlled and cared for by an all-knowing, all-wise State.
We’re not sure where the “point of no return” might lie, but universal healthcare could very well be it. We need Republicans to start telling the unvarnished truth about what such a scheme would do to this country, and we need them to start getting very good at it. Because right now, we are losing this extraordinarily important war of messaging. And this is one battle we cannot afford to lose. Literally.