May 2018: Who Lives Who Dies…

May 2018: Who Lives Who Dies…

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides, Who Pays

Good riddance, Representative Paul Ryan, We Will Not Miss You!

Paul Ryan came to Washington, DC, as Representative from Wisconsin in 1999 with some wealth from his father’s construction company (whose road construction business thrived via federal
funding) and two investment partnerships. His home town is Janesville, a blue collar town, the prototype that Ryan claimed to be representing.

Representative Ryan, who was initially lauded by The Washington Post as a wunderkind fiscal policy wonk, quickly became known as “Wall Street Ryan” for his success erasing financial safeguards established during President Obama’s tenure.

Ryan claimed to be oh so very concerned about federal deficits. However, that concern was only on the side of shredding “entitlements,” Medicaid and CHIP, and nullifying the Affordable Care Act (which had built-in federal subsidies). There was never any intention for corresponding sliding scale tax reform to assist in expanding health insurance coverage for more of our fellow citizens. Medicare and Social Security are also on Ryan’s “hit list” but they are not technically entitlements.

Federally funded health care is seen as a massive transfer of wealth from successful Americans to the working poor and disabled who are presumed to be lazy and ignorant by Paul Ryan and his cohorts in Congress and the White House.

The triad of Representative Paul Ryan, Senator Mitch McConnell, and #45 has succeeded in establishing governance by racism, classism, and religious tribalism.

Salon (3/23/2017) authored an extensive explanation “Why are Republicans so cruel to the poor?,” which helps to explain the myths and stereotypes that demonize our low income, homeless, and disabled citizens as “unworthy.”

One such myth is that of the “Prosperity Doctrine,” now wellknown via several millionaire televangelists. The Prosperity Doctrine says that worldly riches are “God’s Gift for a life well lived” and that the poor and disabled are being punished for supposed moral infractions.

So there is no need to “treat others as you wish to be treated.” And there is no need to behave as if “all men/persons are created equal.” There is no need to nurture compassion or to work cooperatively.

Since the American Health Care system, originally derived from 19th century aristocracy, has always been apartheid like, persuading some Americans that huge sums were being wasted on health care for unworthy countrymen seemed like an easy accomplishment. Ending spending on health care would also plump up the money available for the “tax cuts” that were the main agenda item, anyway.

But “ending Obamacare” did not work because too many middle class Americans saw their own medical care at risk. Thousands of protests around the country sabotaged full-scale repeal of the
Affordable Care Act. And many state governments realized how much federally funded Medicaid added to state budgets.

But continuous attempts to destroy Medicaid and CHIP and the Affordable Care Act are occurring at state levels, such as in Virginia (via the “work requirement” for Medicaid recipients). So we must keep our focus on the humanity of insuring that science-based health care is available to all Americans.

We Dems believe that every life is of equal value. No exceptions. So we must work to restore Democrats to national government and state and local governments. Our very lives depend on it.

–Karen Pataky, Chair, Task Force on Health Policy