Why Republicans Want to Repeal Obamacare

Robert Reich on Why Republicans want to Repeal Obamacare

Here’s what Reich says about an Obamacare repeal:

  • 32 million people will lose coverage, [23M-24M if replaced with Senate or House versions, per CBO]
  • Tens of thousands of American’s will die as a result (over 50 times as many as killed by terrorists),
  • Medicare and Medicaid will be left in worse shape, and
  • The rich will get richer in a massive redistribution of wealth.

Missing from this list, and discussed after the video, is what appears to be racist resentment of having a black President in the White House, no matter how qualified. Repeal is also pragmatic, because it helps Republicans contain a demographic shift works against them and maintain control of Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court.

Baby Boomers and The Aging Population

Robert Reich failed to mention the aging population. 76M boomers were born after WW-II, between 1946 and 1964, and America wasn’t prepared for that growth. Neither were other nations. There weren’t enough hospitals, pediatricians, schoolteachers, textbooks, playgrounds, or even bedrooms in our homes. Now, as 11,000 more baby boomers turn age 65 every day, retire, and go on Social Security and Medicare, the ability to pay for public assistance becomes more difficult. By 2029, more than 20% of the US population will be over 65 (US Census). That 1-in-5 number is up from 1-in-7 today; and by 2035, 1-in-3 US households will be headed by someone 65 or over.

That’s because people are living longer (78 years in 2010 versus 63.5 years in 1940). But we’re also less active and have higher rates of chronic disease and disability. Almost 39% of boomers are obese, compared to about 29% in the previous generation, and 40% of them are low-income (below 150% of poverty level), meaning they’ll need more public assistance.

The age 85+ population needing the most medical care will grow the fastest over the next few decades, equaling 4% of population by 2050, or 10 times its 1950 share (US Census) 1.9M Americans are already 90+, an in 2010, people 90+ had a median income of just $14,760, about half of it from Social Security. This is a worldwide phenomenon thanks largely to longer average longevity. The United Nations says that by 2050, the older generation will be larger than the under-15 population.

Republicans echo these statistics to justify cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Obamacare. But instead of gutting these programs, then need to be strengthened, and funded with more progressive tax policies. Of course, the rich white men in suits don’t want that, even though they benefit from the widest wealth inequality in history.

So Republican politicians face a dilemma. Even though there’s a conservative ideological shift under the Trump administration, boomers who had no voice as infants and children now do. They’re politically active and represent a substantial voting bloc.

Inconvenient Demographic Shifts 

Reich also failed to discuss another demographic shift that threatens majority control of the white Christians who predominantly vote Republican. It’s not only possible but very likely that these shifts drive Republican obsession with repealing Obamacare. Their problem is that the poor, minorities, immigrants, and college-educated youth and elderly predominantly tend to vote for Democrats. It’s no wonder that the GOP has used all the dirty tricks they can to keep political control.

Gerrymandering - How to Steal an Election

Gerrymandering is another way to steal elections by creatively drawing voting districts o win more seats than otherwise suggested by population demographics.

Voter Intimidation comes in many forms, such as hiring thugs as “poll watchers” at polling places or making imposing threats like, “Voter Fraud is a Crime, and Punishment includes Deportation.” Even presidential candidate Trump used voter intimidation tactics in his unsubstantiated claims of massive voter fraud, calling on his supporters to keep an eye on the polls.

Voter Suppression occurs through other means too, including those described in Politics and the Killing Fields. Even before Republicans deny healthcare to tens millions of people, and up to 20% of them die as a result, public health officials saw alarming differences in average lifespan between poor and affluent neighborhoods. According to the HBO documentary, The Weight of the Nation, those differences are due to inferior access to healthcare, nutritious food, safe places to play & exercise, and competitive education & employment opportunities, as well as light & sound solution, environmental contamination, and gun violence. Republicans have historically opposed proposals to improve those issues, knowing full-well their impact, and that’s why I have no choice but to describe their behavior as a form of political genocide, as disgusting as that may sound.


2 thoughts on “Why Republicans Want to Repeal Obamacare


    Politics and The Modern Killing Fields – About political genocide as voter suppression, with a good list of other ways of suppressing votes for opponents

    The Battles Ahead: Meet the Biggest Opponents of Single-Payer – WOW! This excellent piece is part of Fighting for Our Lives: The Movement for Medicare for All.

    The Shameful Republican Assault on Medicaid (The New Yorker, I commented…)

    COMMENT: What’s really behind Republican efforts to gut Medicaid, Medicare and Obamacare, and oppose Universal Healthcare? On the surface, it’s special interest lobbying from the medical industrial complex and a fear of redistributing wealth to help “losers.” (http://www.mhealthtalk.com/universal-healthcare-opposition/)

    But look beneath the obvious and you may find a more sinister motive — maintaining political control by simply allowing people who mostly vote for Democrats to die sooner. As disgusting as this sounds, I call it political genocide, and it’s already happening.

    Public health officials have long noticed alarming differences in average lifespan — of greater than 20 years — between affluent and poor neighborhoods on opposite sides of the same town. This statistic is from the HBO documentary, The Weight of the Nation, which is about obesity and poverty. (Watch at http://www.mhealthtalk.com/americas-obesity-epidemic-a-big-problem-updated/)

    Several socio-economic factors contribute to this longevity difference, including inadequate healthcare, access to nutritious foods and safe places to play & exercise, light & sound pollution that impacts sleep, the availability of steady work and quality education, and easy access to guns. Rather than addressing the causes of poverty and early death, it seems that Republicans would rather enhance them, purely for political reasons.

    Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich warned us that repeal of Obamacare would cause 30 million people to lose health care, and tens of thousands would die as a result. That’s tens of thousands less people to vote against Republicans, so for them it’s pragmatic to JUST LET THEM DIE.

    The GOP’s problem on health reform is they’ve spent years hiding their real position (VOX, I commented)

    COMMENT: Republicans in Congress still have time to honor Trump’s campaign promise to replace Obamacare with a healthcare system that covers everyone with much better care at far less cost, but they must swallow their pride, ask different questions, and consider Universal Healthcare (not Universal “access” to health insurance).

    Start with, “What REALLY is behind Republican opposition to universal healthcare?” It sure seems like it’s a fear of helping “LOSERS”. See http://www.mhealthtalk.com/universal-healthcare-opposition/.

    Robert Reich also shared his views about why Republicans want to repeal Obamacare, and I expanded on them in http://www.mhealthtalk.com/why-republicans-want-to-repeal-obamacare/.

    Many other recent articles on Modern Health Talk address the issues of public health policy and health care versus health insurance, so I encourage you to check them out too.

    Health Effects of Dramatic Societal Events — Ramifications of the Recent Presidential Election (New England Journal of Medicine)

    COMMENT: I was already aware of the health effects of poverty, where public health officials have seen average longevity differences of 20+ years between poor and affluent neighborhoods on opposite sides of the same city. This is the first I’ve heard of health effects of the societal climate and policies, so I greatly enjoyed the article.

    I have long wondered how politicians could justify allowing people to die unnecessarily, or at least not intervening to help them, but such harmful public policies can be politically expedient. The American Health Care Act, for example, would deny tens of millions of people access to care, and allow tens of thousands to die as a result.

    In http://www.mhealthtalk.com/why-republicans-want-to-repeal-obamacare/, I label such policies “Political Genocide” and describe them as being as effective at suppressing votes as suppression, intimidation and gerrymandering. This NEJM article seems to fit my description, especially what is said about The Daily Stormer. The hate website encouraged abuse and declared, “We want these people to feel unwanted. We want them to feel that everything around them is against them. And we want them to be afraid.” The effect is to disenfranchise entire non-white and non-straight populations by making them feel afraid of voting or protesting.


    “You can’t round up the ill, the disabled, the undesirables, and poison them in gas chambers. But you can take away their medicine and let them die.

    You can’t lynch a black man under a burning cross. But you can shoot him with a policeman’s gun.

    You can’t force a woman to wear a burqa and beat her if she steps outside. But you can rape her, fail to prosecute the rape, deny her health care for the PRE-EXISTING rape, deny her an abortion for the resulting pregnancy, deny her maternity care, deny her maternity leave and pay, and block her avenues to rebuild a life.

    You can’t round up the foreign-born, confiscate their property, and imprison them in detainment camps in the American West (again). But you can block them at the border and deny them re-entry, deny them reunion with their families and homes and lives, even though they have legal immigration status.

    You can’t put the poor in labor camps. But you can tax them so heavily, and make the cost of education so burdensome, that they and their generations can never, ever escape.

    You can’t go back to “separate but equal” schools. But you can appoint Betsy DeVos and let her do it through funding.

    You can’t own a plantation that profits off the backs of little children. But you can look at the budget and say, “oh, there’s no money for food-stamps for hungry children, but there are bottomless bottomless tax-breaks for the wealthiest white men!”

    You can’t appoint a Klansman. But you can appoint Jeff Sessions.

    You can’t go far as a “Nazi”, but you can get right up into the presidential administration as “alt-right”.

    The Republican platform is Evil, re-branded to succeed in our legal environment.

    You can’t be Hitler. But you can be Trump.”

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