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Home Food and Health Republicans, obsessed with gutting Obamacare, other social programs: That’s called committing political...

Republicans, obsessed with gutting Obamacare, other social programs: That’s called committing political suicide

It will be time for these politicians that have no vision to begin writing their political obituaries, because they will face political extinction in the elections of 1018 and 2020.

| Op-Ed

If the Republicans don’t come to their senses and back off their stated intention of repealing Obamacare, without an effective replacement plan, and a sizable portion of the 22 million Americans currently enrolled either lose their coverage or suffer in some other way, Republicans better start writing their political obituaries.

Americans watch as Republicans assume full control of Congress and the bizarre Trump juggernaut gets underway. They are very wary and concerned about what they have seen and heard so far and are fearful of what may happen next. Many have this feeling of dread while others possess a growing anger and frustration.

The repeal and replacement of the ACA, the Affordable Care Act, has become the centerpiece of the Republican agenda. What is truly troubling is how the Republicans are going about trying to advance this legislation.  This process has just started and in no time at all it is generating a huge controversy that has the potential for igniting a firestorm of objections across America.

This is not some small, inconsequential issue; it is of monumental importance to some 22 million Americans. Sure, the ACA has its faults but they can be fixed and there is no need to dismantle it and replace it with some hastily worked out program whereby millions of Americans would stand to lose their coverage.

Much smarter politicians would not be talking about repealing the ACA; they would simply take the program, Keep all the effective, successful portions of it, and address the areas where it is deficient and ineffective; study what’s involved, involve medical experts, and then test it in many ways before implementing the changes. They could change the name, Obamacare, if they felt it was necessary.

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 No, these aren’t the smartest politicians, they are Republicans who are not known for building and creating. The thought of fixing and repairing this health care legislation probably never entered their minds since they are so fixated on destroying a program they previously fought so hard to prevent and failed. That sticks in their craws. 

Paul Ryan, probably the worst Speaker of the House in modern history, a sociopath of the highest order, is against almost every government program that helps Americans in need. Here’s an article that shows his twisted plans to defund Medicaid which will destroy medical coverage for many millions of Americans; how craven and cowardly can this guy be? 

Right now most of those staunch Trump disciples are still strongly backing him but it won’t be long before they ask themselves: “What in the world have we done? This is not what we thought Trump would do when he said he would change everything that is wrong in Washington and then do what is right for the American people.” And when they realize that they have been betrayed and sucked in by Trump, and they become more and more disillusioned, they will become prime targets for the Democrats and independents for recruitment into their ranks.  

Soon they will see that he is exactly what many other Americans have already known him to be; a clever, cunning manipulator who uses people for his own personal gain; clearly, the most divisive, devious incoming president in modern times. He is Tricky Dick Nixon on steroids and he will, by his own bizarre behavior and actions, follow Nixon down the road to some form of self-induced expulsion. 

The Republicans are determined to ram this process through Congress no matter what. But they still have a chance to do what is right for the American people if cooler, wiser heads prevail who can see know how the GOP is going to be politically crucified if they go forward with their twisted plan. 

This article indicates that there is at least one Republican in Congress who knows that his party is playing with fire if its leaders try to recklessly pursue this attempt at repeal, hoping in vain that it will be accepted in the Senate. 

Tom Cotton, U.S. Rep. from Arkansas said that Republicans will be “walking the plank”, that they will jeopardize their control over the House when the American people realize what their intentions are; and then erupt in rage. Cotton said that the repeal has no chance of passing in the Senate and he could not be more right in his thinking. But we’ll see if his obsessed cohorts heed his warnings. 

If they are hell bent on letting stubbornness lead to self-destruction then Democrats and progressives should help them do exactly that and even accelerate the process by taking the following actions in order to take back control of Congress in 1018 and 2020.

  • Voter suppression; Democrats must, with every means at their disposal, immediately identify the most egregious voter suppression efforts in various states and fight to eliminate these undemocratic tactics being taken against the American electorate. Hey need to widely publicize these vicious efforts to suppress votes so the American people can see what Republicans are all about; to paint them as the progress blockers and obstructionists that they are.
  • Massive mobilization of African American and Hispanic voters, together with strong efforts to regain the support of the working class, which will include significant numbers of thoroughly disillusioned former Trump supporters.
  • Democrats need to start Right Now and quickly shift into high gear, not wait until just before the next elections. They need a 50-state mobilization strategy, and work day and night to organize efforts at state and local levels.
  • Senators Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and the Director of the DNC, Thomas Perez and his deputy, Rep. Keith Ellison, need to head up this massive mobilization effort. This must be the #1 priority for Democrats, nothing could be more critically important than awakening lethargic Democratic voters and adding new ones to the Democratic voter base.

As demographics change in this country, as the number of Hispanic eligible voters rises dramatically, the Republican political ideology is going to become totally outdated, obsolete and out of sync with the vast majority of Americans. Republicans, no matter how they try to fight the inevitable, will find that they will become an increasingly endangered species and are on a path to political oblivion. 

Here’s some important breaking news: The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, has just reported that this Republican plan will be disastrous for millions of Americans who will lose their medical coverage. The report indicated that 14 million Americans would lose their coverage in the first two years and that that figure would rise to 24 million by 2026. This is a massive setback for Republicans.

The handwriting is on the wall for all Republicans to see. But if they totally ignore it, refuse to listen to reason, and remain fixated on racing down their current misguided path then they are heading for more trouble than they can even begin to imagine. They will, in effect, ignite that Peoples’ Revolution that Bernie Sanders promoted during the last presidential campaign. 

This new revolutionist thinking has resulted in the launching of numerous powerful citizen protests against Trump policies and actions and has the potential to grow exponentially. All Republicans need to do is to continue to try to force this legislation through the political process and they will ignite a fire that will engulf their entire party. 

And then it will be time for these politicians that have no vision to begin writing their political obituaries, because they will face political extinction in the elections of1018 and 2020.

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Michael Payne
Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.