[Please watch this entire video. You will see Jon eviscerate the CEOs who whine about having to provide health care for their employees and who threaten to fire or lay-off people and jack up prices because of the additional cost of health care.]
I admit it. I love health care! I love the idea of health care and I love the reality of health care. I do not understand that of all the industrialized, whoop-de-poop nations of the world, the United States does not provide universal health care for all of its citizens.
Well, we do now. Sort of. It's called The Affordable Care Act. Aka Obamacare. It's OK. It's better than nothing. It's a start. And it does not include "death panels," despite the constant delusional ravings of political morons like M. Bachmann and S. Palin.
The Affordable Care Act has some wonderful pieces to it. Insurance companies can no longer deny healthcare because a person has "pre-existing conditions." Isn't that a great phrase? It means you were sick at one time and/or you are sick now so you have a "pre-existing condition". Obamacare says you cannot be told to piss off if you want insurance. Obamacare also allows your children to be covered under your policy until they finally graduate from college or get so old the college throws them out on the street. Then they're on their own.
This isn't to say that Obamacare is perfect. Far from it. But it's a start, as we said. Sometimes when you wake from a long nap (especially if you're an elderly person), you have to take baby steps in order to eventually resume a longer stride that gets you where you want to go more quickly. So it is with Obamacare. We've got more work to do.
The Republican Party has, by and large, been noted for its vociferous and rhetorically violent opposition to The Affordable Care Act. Some guy by name of Romney - you may remember him - said if he was elected president he'd figure out a way to abolish Obamacare as soon as he took office even if it meant a bit of vodoo politics using those nasty Executive Decisions.
Another guy, name of Ryan, who believes greed is good and money is great and greedy people with money are the best, approved whatever it was that Mr. Romney said. Most every other Republican in the United States stood up and saluted and vowed they would fight healthcare for American citizens until they took their last breath.
Then something very wonderful and strange happened. President Barack Obama was re-elected! The Democrats increased their majority in the Senate. They didn't do so well in the House, but the president received a mandate to get the job done which includes revising and improving the Affordable Care Act. (This is an aside but if you want a bit of insight as to the Republican brain works, note that Paul Ryan - who's somehow thought of as some to be a bit of a genius, is not really very smart - said that Obama did not receive a mandate because the House remained in Republican hands!)
Obama received almost 3 million more popular votes than the bad guys and clobbered Mr. Romney in the Electoral College. In other words, he has a mandate from a solid majority of Americans to do the work he promised to do, which includes a viable system of healthcare for all of our citizens. We don't want to be known as the only country in the world that is so blase, so uncaring, so blind, so immune to the suffering of its citizens we can't even provide universal healthcare.
ThinkProgress reported yesterday on a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll which showed clearly that most Americans do NOT want to repeal Obamacare. Following the counting of the votes, "the number of Americans advocating for a full repeal of the health reform law dropped to an all-time low at just 33 percent -- compared to nearly half of Americans who would rather keep the law in place."
Some Republican leaders have found the Lord, too. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, said that Obamacare is "the law of the land" and hinted that Congressional Republicans might want to rethink their opposition to the law. That was a crack in the wall of recalcitrance and stupidity, but Boehner's office soon said, not so fast, we still are opposed to Obamacare.
No one said Republicans in Congress were very smart. In fact, I'd guess on an intelligence test, they'd be lucky to be in the first percentile. The people of the U.S. WANT healthcare. And as ThinkProgress noted, the "declining support for repealing the health law is a blow to the anti-Obamacare candidates who poured over $20 million into advertisements attacking the Affordable Care Act during the 2012 election cycle. On the other hand, at least six candidates in tight races across the country won ... after advocating for the health reform law throughout their campaigns."
Even the nogoodnik Republican governor of Florida, Rick Scott, who has been one of the biggest naysayers when it comes to Obamacare, is making noises indicating his opposition is mellowing. He probably has seen the writing on the wall: if he wants a future in politics he'd better get with the program!
This does not mean all is wine and roses. Wisconsin, a state I used to have some respect for, has been invaded by teapot crackpots and has developed an entire cadre of ignorant fools who somehow got elected to the state legislature.
There are at least nine of them who have organized to try to ensure that Obamacare will never see the light of day in Wisconsin. They are doing this by supporting a bill which "would arrest any federal officials who attempt to implement Obamacare in Wisconsin."
These mighty morons perhaps never got the word that the Supremes said the law passed consitutional muster. One of them, Chris Kapenga "said he believes the health care law is unconstitutional..." and then went on to verbally confirm his stupidity by saying, "Just because Obama was re-elected does not mean he's above the constitution."
So, it ain't over yet. Between legislators elected by the people to uphold the constitution who publicly flout that responsibility, to other groups of Tea Party teapot crackpots in some 20 states who think they want to secede from the Union, we'll have to put up with a lot of crapola before things settle down.
But, there are a lot of us who would say loudly and clearly to all of these political freaks: you can do a lot of dumb things and pass a lot of moronic laws, but if you mess with my healthcare I will devote the rest of my life to making you pay dearly for your sins!