The House healthcare bill and the Republican lies that may kill you

The swift passage in the House of the latest effort to unravel Obamacare is based on a series of lies.

The first: A free market will deliver the best healthcare to the nation.

The closest America has ever been to a “free-market healthcare system” that the GOP wants was in the years leading up to the Affordable Care Act.

That was when we all heard countless stories of insurance companies bleeding Americans to death. Expecting parents left in limbo because their insurance didn’t cover c-section deliveries; people with treatable cancers and other curable illnesses dying because they hit the lifetime cap of their insurance; families losing their houses and small businesses bankrupted because their child was sick; finally, people with insurance, who lived healthy lifestyles, received a death sentence, because insurance companies discovered they had an undisclosed, preexisting condition.

Insurance companies were “free” to deny basic coverage; they were incentivized to kick people off their coverage as hospitals were incentivized to see more patients and provide more unnecessary services.

Now, under the suffocating tyranny of Obamacare, insurers must provide basic and wellness care; while hospitals and doctors are incentivized to produce better health outcomes and improve efficiencies.

That’s how we go to this point. Obamacare cured this scourge. Democrats, alone, passed legislation that has – and continues to – save lives.

Republicans refused to participate in crafting the legislation while refusing to learn the depth, complexity and – as Trump now knows – difficulty of healthcare. From then until this January when they took control over Congress and the White House, they did everything in their power to undermine and dismantle the law, without ever spending a minute on their replacement plan or so much as learning about the $3 trillion industry, comprising a sixth of the entire American economy.

The next lie is not that their replacement bill – the American Health Care Act – is an improvement… they don’t know enough about the system to understand that it is not.

The next Republican lie isn’t about healthcare at all. By all measures and perspectives, the House Republicans’ efforts to repeal Obamacare are entirely about politics.

Only politics — what they view to be the most politically advantageous act — explains why they have to force a bill through with less than 24-hours notice. A bill that they have not scored with the Congressional Budget Office, passed through regular order or even offered the public or their colleagues an opportunity to read.

Only politics explains how this once-dead piece of legislation came back to life after a “deal” was struck to better protect people with preexisting conditions — preexisting conditions being overwhelmingly the most popular provision of Obamacare. In exchange for the final few votes, which would push them over the number needed to pass the bill through the House, a deal was made to provide $8 billion for high-risk pools for people with preexisting conditions under a set of specific circumstances. From Trump to the final holdouts who brokered this deal, they have argued that this bill now does more to protect those with preexisting conditions.

This is impossible, and they all know it.

Thanks to Obamacare, insurance companies could not deny coverage… or even charge higher rates… those with preexisting conditions. Have a history of cancer? Diabetes? High blood pressure? Birth abnormality? Are you a woman? Thanks to Obamacare, you could not be denied coverage… or even charged more!

So what way could you possibly do more for someone with preexisting conditions? Single-payer, Medicare-for-all, universal healthcare or whatever you’d like to call it, is the only possible answer, but at that point, that’s just semantics.

To argue anything otherwise, as the Republicans are, is pure dishonesty.

That is why Republicans saw the most popular provision of Obamacare as something they couldn’t rip away from Americans and send back to the free market wolves… and, instead, could forge another political spectacle out of the most carnal lie.

Politics is the only explanation for U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas, who is chairman of the Health Subcommittee and who has on multiple occasions defended the urgency of this bill by citing the 2010, 2014 and 2016 elections, which he argues were all referendums on healthcare, and were all won by Republicans. It is fair to debate the messages from each of those elections. However, it is inarguable, that it is flat dishonest to ignore the 2012 election. It is nothing more than deliberate, political-deceit to omit the reelection of President Obama, whose name and legacy are inextricably connected to the very legislation Burgess is basing his argument.

Finally, amid all of the nitpicky little lies — such as Trump’s claim that everyone will be covered with better, cheaper insurance — the greatest lie of all is that this was a compromise between moderate and extreme members of the House majority. The FACT is, there is nothing moderate, or sane about this bill or the rush to pass it. There is no moderation or explanation for trading 24 million people’s insurance to give $600 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy. There is no political excuse or advantage in forcing a bill through the House without giving any constituencies a day to read and react to legislation that would affect every single American.

Yes, the biggest lie of all is that there are any moderate Republicans left. The GOP is grand no more, but the physical embodiment of Trump’s chaos.