It is difficult to exhibit just HOW badly Americans are being duped by the Republicans in Congress, Senate, White House and state houses.
Government does not exist to "hand out" things. But at the same time, the welfare of a country, and the citizens of any country is not static. As we progress through history, situations change, economies change, needs change and while a Constitution was created to foresee dynamic developments, no paper or treatise written by man, is perfect.
There are several basic, indisputable, inarguable FACTS about our world today, as opposed to our world of 1776 (or 1781 if you prefer): 1)The population of America is larger and the population of the world is larger. 2) Technological advancements in multiple areas have produced dangers, as well as advantages to all of us. 3) Our interactions on a local, domestic and global level have changed drastically. 4) Our national (Federal) government has had to change to accommodate the previous three indisputable FACTS.
For Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Democrats and Republicans, refusal to accept reality is like standing on a highway and swearing you are safe: You aren't. Sooner or later, you will be hit. Whether it is by a motorcycle, a seagull, a little car, an SUV or a UPS truck, you are going to get hit. You can NOT get hit, but in that alternative, you defeat the idea of the highway at all as every other car on I-95 stops to accommodate you until you are removed, or die naturally.
Why is this long preamble written? Because the Republican Congress just voted to repeal Obamacare. Their arguments are that it is too expensive (and they want to control costs), it is unsustainable (so they repeal it), and that they have a better way (to allow the insurance industry (free market) to determine it's access points and profit margins.
First, it IS too expensive. But that is not a problem with Obamacare, but a problem with the idea that insurance = healthcare. Insurance has nothing to do with healthcare. Insurance insures. Insurance is based on actuarial tables compiled and created by underwriters based on probability. Probability is based on something happening but also on nothing happening. It is based on how many times that something happens. Insurance companies can insure ANYTHING. They don't HAVE to insure healthcare and healthcare is not a profitable sector of the industry unless you have Republican House members guaranteeing that you are profitable.
Obamacare's biggest failing was attempting to accommodate Republicans by including the insurance industry in the first place.
Here is a FACT: Everyone gets sick eventually. Everyone gets hurt eventually, Everyone dies eventually. So there IS no probability or price point in which an insurance company can find to "insure" a nation. Hillary Clinton determined that Universal Coverage (Single Payer) would be the way to cover a nation in the early 1990s - but she was Hillary Clinton, so that was "bad." Barack Obama wanted Universal Coverage, but also needed SOMETHING passed to get more people covered. So he agreed to including the insurance industry which already covered a sector of the population.
But the obvious course of action is to "fix" the existing Obamacare. Why? Because the medical industry (which provides healthcare), have spent eight years creating systems that work for this healthcare system, and decades working on the relationships of hospitals, equipment, medical professionals, pharmaceuticals etc. Blowing it up is a guarantee that ALL of our health is in jeopardy.
Healthcare, like a standing army, is a defense of the nation. Of all people in the nation, and not just on a state by state basis. We live in a global community in which Ebola gets on a plane one day and lands in Tuscaloosa, Alabama 18 hours later. That person can be cared for by someone traveling home to Boston, Massachusetts three days later and someone else hosting a college friend from Phoenix, Arizona later that week. The spread of infectious diseases, the cost of cancer treatments, the costs of multiple genetically created health problems needs to be addressed and put to bed so that we can focus on issues more in control.
I am an advocate of Federal governmental action. Not states figuring out how to create a wheel one by one. We are in a global economy and there are global players today and there will be many, many more in the future. As we struggle with how we manage basic healthcare, we cede our competitive economic position to country after country. Healthcare should not be employer based. Healthcare should not be individual based, Healthcare should not be insurance industry based.
We need to accept the fact that there are a number of basic needs that we have to deal with as a COUNTRY, and deal with effectively and efficiently, and get on to freeing our citizens to focus on working and living freely. Among these things are management of our health, our defense, our natural resources, our infrastructure and our overall access to resources that will allow us to grow. Education is a resource that we can all access - if given access. Oil or natural gas is not. I can not access either oil or natural gas if I went out and got a pick axe.
The healthcare issue - as developed by the Republican Congress and Republican Party, is an unnecessary distraction that solves nothing. If they (and their constituents) scream about costs . . . then address the issue . . . costs. Who creates the price? Private companies that focus on charging what the market will bear (their idea of free market). Why should government prop them up? Because they provide jobs? They provide jobs regardless. The patent system for healthcare, the marketing and marketplace of pharmaceuticals and health care and recognition equipment is part of what IS creating the cost. Let's examine this issue: Let's look at something all of us have seen and recognize but don't really think about:
Scooters: How many companies are providing scooters? There are many with a couple large ones and some small ones competing for market share. Do any, or all of them, use similar designs? Or parts? Or similar marketing and distribution systems? This competition isn't either effective, efficient or geared toward driving down costs. It's geared toward setting a cost level that doesn't allow more consumers to access the market. And they are using insurance dollars to prop up that industry.
Pharmaceutical patents are exclusive for a certain period of time. The pharma companies use their "research and development" as an excuse to set a high price, recoup what they can, and then after time, allow the patents to be public to allow "market forces" to allow generic entries to set a lower cost. But could pharmaceutical companies recoup costs by selling licenses to other pharmaceuticals and allowing costs to be dropped faster and lower? Every other nation in the world has lower pharmaceutical costs than the United States . . . is it because that industry is propped up by politicians or because we are suckers?
What if pharmaceutical sales have a government created competition - not only between private companies, but between private and public research and development? The research that already exists in government and with government grants to universities, being licensed to private industry to create additional federal revenues, create an employment market for researchers not solely based on corporate salaries. What if the government becomes an additional source of application for research proposals more wide-ranging than what private industry green-lights.
If we want to drive down costs, there are far more solutions that are far more effective than repealing an existing system simply because you made a promise. The goals of the AHCA makes no sense. Their solutions make no sense. Their understanding of the problem makes no sense, and they voted on it because it made political sense. For them. But for no one else.