In the 1982 movie “Poltergeist,” a child frightened by menacing demons, awakens to see the demons returning on a glowing TV screen.
That’s the way we all might feel with President Trump’s announcement during the past week that he wants the courts to kill “Obamacare.”
Here they come again — the billionaires and millionaires who hate, not only the poor, but even ordinary people who have jobs, often two jobs just to make ends meet. If Trump, the billionaire, gets his way, at least 21 million men, women and children will lose their health insurance. Wow!
What gets me is that the billionaires who have come back again to kill “Obamacare” are the same billionaires who got the juiciest of all tax cuts in 2017, saving themselves, individually, hundreds of thousands of dollars and running up the national debt by at least $1.5 trillion.
Talk about the demons — from Trump on down.
His decision to get the courts to kill “Obamacare” was completely offhand, completely off the top of his head, without a moment of remorse. His acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, a South Carolina reactionary, told him, “We ought to kill ‘Obamacare.’ It would set us up beautifully for the 2020 elections. Our people would love it!”
“Great idea,” Trump said.
The idea to irreparably hurt 21 million of us was decided as casually, as off-the-cuff, as that.
Others in the Oval Office — Vice President Pence, the new attorney general, William Barr, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, all jumped up and protested. But Mulvaney had his way. They’re going to try to kill “Obamacare” in the courts.
And so now they go to the courts, the billionaires who have billions to spend. And — this is amazing — the Department of Justice, which should be representing us, won’t even stand up to protect us.
The 21 million of us that this would hurt includes millions of us who were finally able to get coverage through the expansion of Medicaid that was part of the “Obamacare” reform, and millions more who would no longer be able to get subsidized private insurance through “Obamacare’s” online marketplaces.
It would be back to the bad old days before “Obamacare.” Insurers also would no longer have to cover young adults up to the age of 26 under their parents’ health insurance plans; annual and lifetime limits on coverage would again be the rule; and there would be no maximum cap on what we would have to pay, out-of-pocket, for hospitalizations and other medical expenses.
Trump and the Republicans tried 70 times altogether to take our health insurance away when they had a lock on Congress. Time and again they tried and failed. The picture must be burned into their memories when the late Sen. John McCain, the hero, turned his thumb down to cast perhaps his final Senate vote and defeat Trump’s upteenth effort to break “Obamacare.” Maybe that’s why Trump hates him so, and smears his name, though McCain lies dead in an honored grave.
So here they are. They’re baccck! They couldn’t win with the votes when they had Congress in their pocket. Now they will use the courts, where many of the judges, and two of the Supreme Court justices, are very conservative Trump appointees.
The Republicans in power, the millionaires and billionaires, hate the idea of helping us, the little guys, get the health care we need, even when our inability to get insurance is a result of pre-existing medical conditions over which we have no control.
“If this seems remarkably cruel, that’s because it is,” says Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, “and there’s no sign that this attitude will change. In today’s GOP, cruelty toward the most vulnerable is a pre-existing condition.”