None 22, 2017 (San Diego) There are moments in time when rifts in societies show starkly. There are moments when dominant values also bubble up to the surface. People have been protesting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act for months, but the events in Washington DC, at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office this morning, are revealing something that is barbaric.
Not only was this bill drafted in secret. As we stated the other day this is what happens in autocratic regimes, but disabled people were dragged to jail today. This also happens in autocratic regimes where the few take advantage of the many. It is one more step towards clarity as to what the United States is becoming, a cruel, isolated, diminished nation.
We have multiple reports from witnesses on the Hill today.
Andrew Desiderio posted this short video on Twitter, and his feed is here for you to see more.
He is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He was not alone. Marian Khan is a reporter for ABC, and she posted this as well. We are also linking you to her feed.
She reports that the number of arrestees was 43.
These images should horrify all of us. What the protesters said should also trouble our conscience. When a person who is disabled tells a reporter, “the government is trying to kill me,” they mean it. Lack of access to medical care, or at best substandard care, will be one of the results of Trumpcare. People are going to die. From the Congressional Budget Office report, 23 million Americans will lose access to healthcare.
Free Clinics, which most middle-class Americans still associate with the developing world, are making a comeback in the United States. This is a product of a medical system that will not serve all.
This is just a short-term effect, but in the long term this will also reduce productivity in the United States and prevent effective public health measures. People who are sick could make you and me sick as well, depending on the illness. This is especially the case with infectious diseases. There is more. The current system is not efficient. and will collapse. This is not me saying it. Harvard is on board. And the country already has the lowest life expectancy of the developed world.
There is also a national security implication to this. People who are sick, and have had their safety net reduced, or destroyed, will also be too sick to serve in the military if we ever need a draft. This happened during World War II. Many conservatives do not remember why the school lunch program was put in place, It was the number of possible recruits who were not able to serve due to malnutrition during the Great Depression. Lack of healthcare, plus other attacks on the social safety net, will have that effect on the society. It is also a broken promise by Donald Trump, who said that Medicaid would not be touched. This is just one more of the many promises that have been broken already.
The short term gain by the very wealthy in tax savings will have long-term implications for the country. However, the images themselves should trouble people. Not because of compassion, or rights. I understand this is not something that people who are passing this legislation care for. This is not who they are. But because we are allowing the nation to become a place that is cruel, and that cares more for the few than the rest of the country. This is a recipe for trouble as well. This is exactly how oligarchies behave though.