One thing to remember about the whole panic over Obamacare is a simple, but disturbing truth: what’s good for the Republican Party is bad for the United States of America.
Oh sure, we could say that what’s good for the Republican Party is also good for the top 1%, or for large corporations, but in the long run, even that’s not true, and here’s why: concentrating wealth in the hands of the few, even if you’re one of those few, makes for a shitty, radicalized, and often violent society. Last time I checked, that’s not good for business. So the Walton’s may be happy now to fight unionization at WalMart, and the Koch brothers may continue to fund radical GOP politicians through dark money organizations, but in the end, it’s counterproductive.
This may sound alarmist—maybe even ridiculous—to some, but it’s well documented throughout history: the rich and powerful can only abuse their control of the government for so long before people start showing up outside the castle brandishing torches and pitchforks. And frankly, our government, without equivocation, is corrupt. Our politicians belong to the rich and powerful, who pay for their re-elections, and that’s precisely why very little is ever done by our government to effectively address the problems of ordinary Americans.
Which brings us back to Obamacare. Sure, the program’s aim is to help ordinary Americans, but only if it also helped the existing health insurance industry, and that’s why the whole thing’s a mess. It’s ironic, because even as Republicans are screaming about socialized medicine and the government’s involvement in healthcare, it’s the private business aspect of the program that’s causing the website to break down. The difficulty is not in the government’s ability to administer healthcare, but rather the incredibly complex task of designing a website where consumers can compare plans from different insurers, and then record and document everything that can possibly be known about a human being in order to determine the rate of their premium.
It’s a mess to be sure, but we should all hope the Obama Administration can fix it well enough to work. If it doesn’t, that’s good for Republicans. And, as stated in the open, that’s bad for the rest of us.
In fact, it’s the perfect storm for the destabilization and possible disintegration of our society. To begin with, Republican policies increase wealth inequality. Cutting taxes, decreasing regulations, increasing subsidies, and creating loopholes in the tax code for the extremely wealthy does not benefit the poor or middle class; indeed, such policies tend to concentrate wealth into fewer and fewer hands—the hands of the most privileged and powerful, of course, who then use that wealth to influence government policy so that they can get even richer. Remember, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and in our society, nothing is more powerful than the almighty dollar.
Worse, Republicans have made no secret of wanting to reduce or eliminate programs that mitigate or dampen the effects of growing wealth inequality, such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. In other words, not only does the GOP want to enact policies that would accelerate income inequality in our society, they also want to get rid of policies that slow its growth.
So what does such a society look like? We’re well on our way. We have a huge class of working poor that are paid such paltry salaries that many of them have to rely on government programs to survive, in effect, meaning that U.S. taxpayers are being forced to pay massive subsidies to businesses like WalMart and fast food chains that pay low wages. In addition, our society’s foisted the cost of education onto its children, compelling students to take on ten’s and sometimes even hundred’s of thousands of dollars in student loans to qualify for a good job. Finally, with no political will to spend money domestically, we see a country with a crumbling infrastructure: bridges, roads, railways, airports, and an electrical grid that are substandard (sometimes dangerously so) when compared to most of Western Europe, China, etc.
Now, there’s no guarantee that Democrats are going to solve these problems. They certainly haven’t been very successful addressing most of them during the Obama Administration. But Democrats, at least, recognize that these are indeed problems, and at the very least, aren’t going to make them worse.
As demonstrated, however, Republicans don’t recognize these problems, and support policies that will make things much, much worse. The real kicker is their NRA-sponsored policy on guns: no background checks, no limits on semi-automatic or assault weapons, no rules regarding the storage of guns or even a requirement to buy insurance in case something goes wrong. Even more terrible, they lie about the issue to the point where gun owners across America think that the government wants to take their guns away, which no serious politician, no matter how leftist and anti-gun, has proposed.
Anyway, what do we get when we combine a lot of people who are angry, poor, and live miserable lives, with guns? Answer: it’s not good. However, if Republicans get to enact their policy proposals, that’s exactly what we should expect.
So while Republicans, the press, and many Americans seem to be desperately hoping that Obamacare fails and magnifying the program’s problems exponentially for their own purposes, anyone that actually cares about this country should work, pray, and do whatever else they can to ensure it doesn’t. Because if health care reform fails in the U.S., that’s good for the Republican Party. And that’s bad for every American—whether they know it or not.