With the passage of the GOP Health Care Bill this week, more confusion surrounds healthcare than anytime since the passage of Obamacare. Just this week, intent on supporting President Trump's campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, Paul Ryan and his GOP team jammed through a revised version of their health care bill through the House of Representatives (by a vote of 217-213, with 100% of House Democrats voting "No.").
Now with the Trump base getting something of a "win" for their "Team", it is understandable that the "Team" would immediately have shuttle buses ready to take them directly to the White House for a post-vote Rose Garden Victory Party and Photo-Op. (See: www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-05-04/gop-gathers-at-white-house-to-celebrate-passage-of-health-care-bill-with-donald-trump). As the President gleefully proclaimed ObamaCare "dead", Americans somehow have forgotten (along with the President and the GOP House), that another chamber in the Legislative Branch must agree to the Bill before it can go to the President for signing into law. That other chamber? It's called the United States Senate and all indications coming from that chamber are that the GOP House Health Care Bill as written is more "Dead on Arrival" that existing ObamaCare.
(See: www.wsj.com/articles/senators-set-to-write-their-own-version-of-the-gop-health-bill-1493940052). It seems not only that the House Bill was steamrolled through the House so fast, no estimates of its affect on the economy in the form of a CBO review was conducted - or even sought. In fact, many members of the House admitted to the media that their "staff" reviewed the Bill they voted on, not they themselves. When asked if they were aware that some of the provisions they voted for would strip Billions in Federal Aid to their constituents, some actually looked puzzled. It must have been from all the beer they were drinking while celebrating with the President for their big "win." (See: www.cnbc.com/2017/05/04/gop-congressman-i-dont-think-any-individual-has-read-health-bill.html). One Congressmen's constituents stand to lose $3 Billion in Federal aid if the Bill was approved in its current form. (See: www.businessinsider.com/gop-house-republicans-didnt-read-ahca-healthcare-bill-2017-5.
But social media commentary is what really caught my attention. Seems some supporting the measure for their "Team" appear to think it is okay to rush legislation without knowing what is in it or its general affects on the nation. Why? Because the ideologically oriented for-profit media sold them on the notion that ACA/ObamaCare was also jammed down the throats of Americans without committee meetings, a CBO score or any efforts to read the details of the Bill. But, this foundation provided by some in the media is simply not true. In fact, not only were several committee meetings held AND a CBO score attained, about 160 GOP Amendments were proposed and considered in the ACA. (See: www.cnn.com/2012/06/28/politics/supreme-court-health-timeline/index.html). So where would the public get the idea that the democrats hastily tossed together a few ideas relating to the ACA and the GOP never had a chance to amend the measure or even discuss it with Congressional colleagues? From the Right Wing Media, that's who. Going so far as to creating misleading ("fake") graphics to confuse viewers. (See: www.politico.com/blogs/media/2014/04/fox-news-corrects-obamacare-chart-186120). So why not blame media in general?
Media at the time took more of a "balanced" approach to matters in an effort to convince viewers not to change their channels. Instead of reporting fake stories as the lies they were, media engaged pundits to discuss the merits of the "arguments" for airing such misleading statements and graphics. It is no wonder that today so many are now caught up in determining what is "real" media versus "fake" media. The Media itself is partially to blame. But it is also the electorates' fault too. Why? Because more and more Americans are unwilling to investigate any issue beyond what their "Team" tells them on their "Team's media outlets." Opinions have become more important than facts. And once the public is convinced that fact-checkers are politically motivated and also are subject to challenge, truth becomes a real casualty - as well as the advancement of our democracy. (See: www.americanpressinstitute.org/fact-checking-project/7-things-we-learned-about-fact-checking-this-year/).
So when some partisan Americans rejoice when anything related to Obama is repealed, they might want to look a but further into the details. More importantly, they might also want to look into how their Representative in Congress voted and whether they took the time to bother to read the Bill. Last time I checked, I voted for a member of Congress to represent me, not an unelected unknown from their pool of paid staff.
As President Theodore Roosevelt once wrote; "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Have a great week!