Sunday, December 11, 2016

America's nightmare now begins

And so begins the national nightmare, my daughter and 20 million other Americans will likely lose their health insurance. I have friends who think this is a good idea because their health insurance premiums went up and they blame it on the Affordable Care Act. While it may be true in part since under the prior model they had the benefit of getting deep discounts because their insurer didn’t have to cover people who weren’t born as healthy much of those increases were due to the continuing rise in the cost of health care especially drug costs so they’ll be really surprised when their insurance premiums hardly change.

The Republican mantra on the Affordable Care Act has been “Repeal and Replace” but they’ve had four years to offer a replacement and instead simply tried to repeal it 70+ times. People who have survived cancer and other severe illnesses will once again have to fear losing their health insurance because of lifetime caps. Parents like me will worry that their college age children won’t be able to get health insurance they can afford because there will no longer be the requirement that those children can stay on their parent’s plans until age 26.

We all know, including Clinton and Obama, that the Affordable Care Act is flawed but that’s what happens in a system with 535 cooks in the kitchen. It’s important to get dinner started cooking anyway and adjust the seasoning on the fly otherwise it won’t be ready when it’s needed. Clinton had numerous ideas for improving the program, Republicans not so much.

Many of the talking heads are suggesting that Clinton didn’t speak to the needs of the while working class especially those in rural areas. That may very well be true, she certainly didn’t speak to the concerns of many millennials and the progressives in the Democratic Party who supported Bernie Sanders. I’m especially frustrated with my friends who said they agreed with Bernie but thought Hillary had a better chance to win. They said she’s been attacked by the Republicans for 30 years and nothing stuck. No she was never convicted, or tried or even indicted but in the court of public opinion she was trashed and that is what voters remembered. Some of my high school classmates believe without any evidence that she and her husband are responsible for dozens of murders. That’s what 30 years of Republican attacks have done to her reputation.

There is no question that this was the year of the anti-establishment candidate and we in the Democratic Party had the chance to choose one but instead selected a middle of the road candidate and we got a middle of the road performance. Don’t blame me for any of what happens over the next four years I proudly voted for Bernie.

Published in the Seguin Gazette November 11, 2016

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