For Once, the GOP Does Something Pro-Life

For Once, the GOP Does Something Pro-Life

Paul Ryan, American Health Care Act, Trumpcare, Wealthcare

The failure of the GOP — actually, more of a forbearance than a failure — to immediately, fully and summarily repeal the PPACA/HCERA — which they did about 60 times during Barack Obama’s presidency — within Donald Trump’s first week in office, finally proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything Republicans said about “Obamacare” from the very beginning until last Friday was an outright lie. But it also demonstrates something else.

As even conservative hacks have pointed out, the Democrats led by Obama and Pelosi got the PPACA/HCERA passed because they knew how to govern, cared about governing, and were willing and able to do what it took to get something done, whereas the GOP and its “leaders” don’t, aren’t, never did, never were, and never will. The Democrats saw a serious, pressing national problem — tens of millions of Americans without health insurance, tens of billions of dollars in uninsured medical risk, exorbitant premiums and costs, junk policies, all sorts of consumer abuse — and tried to figure out and come up with an effort to fix it legislatively.

To the contrary, Republicans either don’t see any of the foregoing as a problem worth fixing or are just not interested in fixing it. As I’ve written repeatedly, Republicans are not and never were interested in insuring the uninsured, lowering costs, or curtailing consumer abuses. Their interest lies only in keeping the insurance, biotech and pharmaceutical industries profitable, and minimizing their (and their executives’) tax burden.

Indeed, at the national level it seems that Republicans only ever see four problems: (1) millionaires and billionaires are over-taxed; (2) corporations are over-regulated; (3) the military doesn’t have enough hardware; and (4) some brown people in some foreign place need a-killin’. Oh, and (5) too many women and queers having un-churchy sexytimes. 

The party that calls itself “pro-life” has never really done anything that could rightly be called pro-life, at least not legislatively, at least not at the national level. They’ve addressed problems (1) through (4) when they’ve held Congress and/or the White House, and have tried to address (5) through the courts even though they keep losing battle after battle over the past half-century. They talk a good game about “protecting human life” or “saving American lives,” but they’re only interested in “protecting” human and/or American lives from two things, and two things only: (1) abortion, and (2) this thing that they call Radical Islamic Terrorism™. Not from poverty or hunger, not from illness, disease, disability or lack of health insurance, not from polluted air or contaminated water or poisoned food, not from unsafe products or unsafe workplaces or unsafe buildings or unsafe roads, not from abuse or exploitation by employers or landowners, and certainly not from any other form of violence (unless, of course, it’s committed by an Illegal Immigrant™).

But think about the fact that roughly 60 times in six years, the Republicans in Congress voted to summarily repeal outright the entirety of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, knowing, of course, that if any such bill reached President Obama’s desk he would veto it. No one outside the GOP paracosm failed to recognize that these were naught but symbolic votes taken for purely political purposes. The fact that they did not immediately send such a bill to President Trump’s desk by January 27, 2017, merely confirms what we already knew. 

But look at it this way: The fact that Trumpcare/Ryancare/whatever you want to call the AHCA didn’t even come to a vote, let alone pass the House, and the GOP has at least for now abandoned its long-standing promise to “repeal and replace” this law that they spent seven years insisting was The Absolute Worst Most Horrible Thing in the World That Has Ever Happened Ever™, was really more of a forbearance than a failure. Freedom Caucus lunatics aside, the fact is the GOP couldn’t pass this because they knew it would be unnecessarily and injustifiably cruel to do so; the knew what it would do to their constituents; they knew that people would literally die as a direct result of such an action.  

So, for the first time in memory, the GOP actually did something pro-life.