In My Country, Reality Comes Pre-Satirized

If I had submitted “Rich parasites of society attempt to cut public medical care in order to fund massive tax cuts for themselves” as a plot in a dystopian novel 3-5 years ago, it would have been dismissed as far too dead-on for publication. And yet, that is where citizens in the United States find themselves today:

The Congressional Budget Office projects that if the Senate Republicans’ health care bill becomes law, 14 million Americans will lose their health insurance in 2018, and, by 2026, 22 million would lose coverage.

Drawing on that work, we estimate that if the Senate bill becomes law, 22,900 excess deaths will occur in 2020 — and the figure will grow over time. 26,500 extra deaths will take place in 2026. Over the next decade, we estimate that a total of 208,500 unnecessary deaths will occur if the law is passed…

It can be difficult to know what to say or do when confronted with people so obviously evil- like, the same sort of people who read A Modest Proposal and endorsed its well-reasoned arguments and logical conclusions. Honestly, it’s difficult for me to shake a nagging discomfort when I consider what this really means about my representatives in government. The GOP is not a well-meaning partner with different ideas about how to do the most good for the most people. They aren’t just wrong when their mouthpieces use words like “choice” and “freedom” to describe their “reform” of health insurance in this country.

No, they are opponents whose ideas and arguments are all in service to keeping and expanding the wealth of the already wealthy. It’s always been about the money, and they won’t let anything get in the way of their acquiring more- certainly not something so petty as you or someone you care about’s life. Even when they have more than they could ever want- the Koch brothers are worth around $85 billion, more than the yearly GDP of most countries on the planet- they are dedicated to funding projects to preserve and expand that wealth with the zeal and passion of a religious adherent.

It’s difficult to find much more to say than that- it’s not even “your money or your life,” it’s “your money and your life.” But one thing that I think is worth touching upon is the secondary and tertiary effects of all that lost insurance beyond mortality. A society with huge numbers of bankruptcies due to medical bills is probably not one with a prosperous economy or rising standards of living. For the lucky duckies out there who don’t die but get through being sick or injured, there are often complications that accompany denied or delayed medical treatment- blindness, deafness, amputations, that sort of thing, destroying their ability to work and forcing them onto disability relief- or onto the street. I’m also not excited about the warped and twisted culture that will inevitably grow out so much death and poverty.

In short, you peasants are going to need to work harder and eat less, and many of you are going to die, with the savings passed on to Our Noble Lords and Ladies- that’s the plan they’re selling (though our Supervillain-in-Chief seems confused about what, exactly, they are selling).

If you’re not alright with that, you’re a dissident. Congratulations and welcome aboard! Contact these people and let them know that you like living, you dangerous fucking radical you. The switchboard is still at (202) 224-3121, they will connect you to any Senate office you request. It’s not the sort of thing I like doing or am comfortable doing myself, but nonetheless I did it; it’s quick and easy, and sometimes it makes a difference. Don’t relax- things might look shaky for bill passage now, but they did before the House passed their bill, too.