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Paul Ryan's Healthcare Plan Failed Because it was Cruel

The politicians that we send to Washington enjoy the greatest healthcare in the world. If they or their spouses or kids get sick, they have immediate access to the finest doctors and hospitals, and the best and most advanced medicines, treatments and therapies. They will never have to worry that someone in the family might die from an illness that their insurance doesn't cover, or that they won't be able to make their mortgage payments or send their kids to college because they had to use the money instead to pay for medical care.

Who pays for this extraordinary medical care-- and peace of mind--you might wonder?

You and I do, of course. We (the taxpayers) pay for 72% of the insurance premiums that secure this coverage. We also pay for the special tax breaks that our elected representatives get-and no one else in the country gets-that make it much easier for them to purchase dental or vision insurance, and the free care they get-but no one else in the country gets-- at medical facilities in Washington DC, and at military hospitals.

Yet it was these same politicians-the beneficiaries of the greatest healthcare in the world, largely paid for by others-who this past week were so anxious to vote for the Paul Ryan "healthcare" plan that would rip away from 24 million Americans any form of healthcare whatsoever. And leave them to fend for themselves...knowing that the result would be that some of the 24 million will die, just because their government took their health care away.

Let's pause on that thought for a moment: These politicians were saying to 24 million Americans: "While I deprive you and your family of any healthcare at all, you must keep paying for the world's best healthcare for me and my family." The inescapable message: "My family's health is more important than yours.'"

Cruelty. Naked, heartless cruelty.

Polling conducted just before Paul Ryan pulled his plan off the table showed that it was fantastically unpopular-83% of Americans did not support it. Almost nothing polls that low. And so the plan died the humiliating death its sponsors deserved. Obamacare remains the law of the land.

But drawing little attention in all of this is the plain fact that Obamacare is in trouble. Healthy, sustainable insurance programs require that many people who don't presently need help (be it health care, car collision repair, etc) pay in so that money is available to pay for those who do need help. The serious vulnerability of Obamacare is that, despite its noble intentions, too few healthy people are paying in, threatening the program's ability to pay for the care of those who are sick. This must be addressed, or Obamacare will collapse.

The Ryan healthcare plan's failure proved that Americans now believe that affordable healthcare is their right. They will not allow politicians to take it away from them. So let's hope that the necessary effort to shore up Obamacare will be a serious effort that recognizes this, and not one stained by the attempted cruelty of politicians who believe that it is acceptable for others to die for lack of healthcare, so long as they keep paying for the politicians' care before they do 

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