What do Republicans have against increasing the number of Americans who can gain access to health care? What do Republicans have against Medicaid? What do Republicans have against people who are sick and ill through no fault of their own? What do Republicans have against the elderly? Moreover, why are Republicans so hell bent on destroying the nation’s fragile health care system?
On Thursday May 3, 2017 two hundred and seventeen Republican members voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act. After their victorious vote, the sprinted off to the White House for a major photo op with Donald Trump in celebration of what they had just accomplished. In reality this was only the fiftieth plus time that Republicans have voted to upend the Affordable Care Act since its passage in March of 2010. One can easily conclude that dismantling the Affordable Care Act is at the top of the Republican “Bucket List.” However, they seem to want to function under a cloak of anonymity.
Joy Reid is the host of a popular weekend morning news program on MSNBC entitled “Morning Joy.” Her Saturday morning show led with the Republican vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. She took a slight twist on the story. Ms. Reid informed her audience that her producers had contacted all 217 Republican Congressmen who voted in favor of the American Health Care Act. Not one of the Republican Congressmen agreed to come on her show to defend the law or their vote. Allow me to repeat this fact. Out of 217 Republican Congressman, not one agreed to come on her show to defend the law or their vote. Instead a lone associate of the conservative Heritage Foundation came on to defend the law. No doubt, many of these 217 including Paul Ryan attempted to distance themselves, in public, from Donald Trump when his presidential campaign became particularly odious. Nevertheless, they voted for him to become President. In essence the reverse “Bradley Effect” does not say much about Republican or their “profiles in courage.” Moreover, I am reminded of an apt passage from Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” which read as follows: “I see him there,/Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top/In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed./He moves in darkness as it seems to me…”
The move in darkness it appears to me. We have witnessed countless reports of Republican Representatives being inundated at their town halls with countless constituents beseeching their Congressperson not to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act. We have heard innumerable testimonies of people saying that the Affordable Care Act has either saved their lives, is keeping them alive, or is having a positive impact on members of their family. Even late night talk show host shared the story of his baby son who was born with a bad heart and gave a resounding endorsement of the Affordable Care Act. Notwithstanding the intense opposition to what Republicans were attempting to do, they did it anyway.
I refer to this latest Republican example of mean spiritless as nothing short of political malpractice. To ignore the cries and legitimate fears of your constituent’s amounts to a cruel and unusual politics that can only be corrected by vote against Republicans in the 2018 mid-term elections. It has been stated that many of the Republican lawmakers did not read the bill. Yet, I am sure that through their staffers and through media reports, they are well aware of the negative gist of the legislation. In addition to this, it appears that the bill was forced in order just to say that Donald Trump had a legislative victory. The legislation makes no sense. The essential guiding and unifying principle of the law is that it is in opposition to what was created during the Obama Administration. Republicans are still driven by their racist and ideological hatred for all things Obama. They could care less whom they hurt in the process. In the final analysis, they move in darkness as it seems to me.
Anthony Neal earned his Ph.D. in political science from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Dr. Neal is an associate professor at State University College, Buffalo. The author of numerous book reviews and journal articles, he has had his work published in the Western Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Black Studies, and Black Issues in Higher Education. In 2014 Dr. Neal received the university’s Faculty Appreciation Award, was named Instructor of the Year by the university’s United Student Government, and Professor of the Year by the Student Political Society in the Department of Political Science. In 2015, he published The American Political Narrative which is a succinct yet poignant narrative about the development of the American political system and what is needed to maintain it. In 2016, he will publish a book of poetry entitled “Love Agnostic | from 9/11 to Charleston”