What? Did this president actually tweet that such a single payer-system that could provide medical coverage for every American was a curse? Believe it or not, he certainly did and here’s what he said: “Bernie Sanders is pushing hard for a single-payer health care plan – a curse on the U.S. & its people.”
In a follow-up tweet he added, “I told Republicans to approve health care fast or this would happen. But don’t worry, I will veto it because I love our country & its people.” Yes, he loves the people so much he wants to push through Congress a disastrous GOP health care plan that would jeopardize the health care coverage of 23 million or more Americans.
Those tweets, those statements are mindless, make no sense whatsoever and should be totally ignored. No rational-minded U.S. president would condemn such an attempt by a U.S. senator to create a health care system designed to cover all Americans.
Mr. Trump should be asked to explain, in explicit terms, why a single-payer or Medicare for all health care system should, in any way, be considered a curse; a common definition of which is, “evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to imprecation or as retribution, often said to involve a supernatural power.”
He and his fellow shallow-minded GOP politicians should take some time and read what the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution states relative to the functions of this government; and, in particular, its reference to the government providing for the “general welfare of the people.”
If one were able to ask the Founders if that term, general welfare, would include the creation of such a universal-type health care system, the answer would be a resounding YES! It is a part of what is often referred to as the government’s “promoting of the health, safety, morals, and well-being of the people governed thereunder.”
Here’s what Senator Sanders said in response to Trump’s pathetic tweets. “Mr. President, let me tell you what a curse on the American people is; that is your support for legislation that would throw 23 million people off the health care they currently have, and then provide huge tax breaks for the rich and large corporations.”
He continued; “Providing health care to every man, woman, and child in this country – that’s not a curse. That is what every other major country on earth does and that is exactly what we should be doing,” he added.
Yes, what Sanders says is true; every one of the other 31 developed nations in the world has some form of universal health care covering everyone in the country from birth to death. These countries are distinctly different from America in that their people share the same belief; that health care is a right for every citizen. They make it clear that they feel this way because they care for their fellow citizens, something that is hardly the case in this greatly divided America.
Countries in Europe have had such health care systems in place for decades; some are better than others, some have problems that need to be addressed but, for the most part, they are quite effective and the people of these countries are quite satisfied with them.
The costs per capita of most of these systems are about half of the cost of America’s. Check out this article that shows the 16 countries that have the best life expectancy in the world. See the United States anywhere on the list?
So, Mr. Trump, let’s talk about this curse;
Is having a health care system that covers every American from birth to death some kind of curse?
Is a system in which profits of insurance companies no longer represent a huge part of the overall costs a curse in your mind?
Suppose that all Americans had the opportunity to take preventative tests that identify serious problems in their early stages; that then provided the necessary treatment leading to a satisfactory outcome. Is that a curse? And, if as a result of large-scale preventative testing, Americans’ life expectancy would rise is that a curse?
If the five separate health care systems we now have in place, private medical insurance, Medicare, Obamacare, Medicaid and the VA, Veterans Administration system, are consolidated into one and the current massive paperwork and clerical functions are dramatically reduced, is that also a curse?
If we create a new system that has the potential to become the best in the world would you call that some kind of a curse?
These craven Republicans are determined to destroy Obamacare without an adequate replacement. The members of this Congress have excellent medical coverage for themselves and their families and you can bet their plans include pre-existing conditions. So, for them to prevent others from having the same benefits is beyond comprehension. What kind of Americans do such things to their fellow Americans?
The despicable behavior of these politicians reminds me of a story about a shipwreck in which a man and his family were able to get into a lifeboat as the ship was sinking. There were many other people in the water and some tried to get into his boat that had room. Well, the man kept using his oar to fend them off saying, “This is our lifeboat; you need to find your own.” And he rowed off as they continued to try to stay afloat.
That same selfish, cruel attitude is now on display in this Congress as the Republicans, prodded by Trump, are once again trying to ram through Congress legislation that does almost exactly the opposite of that being proposed by Sanders. It’s just one more terrible plan that they want to get approved, not waiting for a highly necessary cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office and not conducting appropriate Senate sessions to discuss the pros and cons. This is what Senator McCain insists is necessary.
As bad as Trump and the Republicans are in obstructing the creation of a world-class health care system, there is another aspect to this situation that is very troubling. Far too many Americans that have some form of medical coverage for themselves and their families seem to have the same attitude as that man in the lifeboat who rowed away from those struggling to stay afloat.
They are satisfied with what they have and the fact that others don’t have coverage is not their concern. They see Republicans trying to destroy Obamacare and it doesn’t disturb them in the least. That’s why the Republicans can come up with these terrible plans and not suffer a backlash from these kinds of voters in subsequent elections.
This attitude on the part of such Americans is the greatest obstacle of all for Bernie Sanders to overcome; how in the world is he going to convince them to, in effect, help their fellow Americans into a lifeboat?
Even though he knows that he faces a monumental uphill climb, Sanders will move ahead, together with his 15 co-sponsors, with this single-payer legislation. He certainly knows that his proposal will be met with great opposition by Republicans, including Trump. But he has the courage to ignore these tactics of obstruction that he will face. He and his supporters need to work hard to convince Americans that it is right for them and this country.
Without a doubt, Sander’s single payer proposal will take a great deal of time and effort before it can come to fruition. In the meantime, we’ll have to see what happens in the next few days. If the sinister GOP/Trump plan is approved, is then sent through Congress, and this president signs the legislation, then:
This sinister GOP/Trump plan will be that curse on this country and its people.