Sunday, May 07, 2017

Is Racism Partly Behind The GOP Push for Trumpcare?

As noted frequently, one of the big motivations behind the House Republican's vote to pass Trumpcare - or Ryancare, if you prefer - is to grant a truly huge tax cut in favor of the wealthy.  We are talking hundreds of billions of dollars given back to the wealthy.  In exchange, millions of the less fortunate will see their costs soar and health care insurance coverage slip out of reach.  Literally every health care and hospital association condemned the bill passed by the House Republicans.  Many rural hospitals are truly concerned that bankruptcy and closure will be in their future if the Senate doesn't kill this monstrous bill.  Yes, there would be an element of divine justice if rural Trump voters found themselves suddenly with no ready hospital access - and literally facing death in critical illness situations as a result.    But an op-ed in the Boston Globe argues that lurking beneath the bloviating of Republicans is racism that Obama unleashed by being black and in the White House.  Here are excerpts:
House Republicans are taking health services away from disabled children, women who give birth, and survivors of rape and sexual assault. They are consigning thousands of people with serious illnesses to death by making them uninsurable in an era of unaffordable treatment. Virtually every reputable medical organization in the country condemns the health care bill that passed the House Thursday, but the GOP clings to two reasons for passing it.
First, Republicans claim that the new legislation provides economic benefits. These benefits are unclear, though reports suggest that they entail a transfer of resources from vulnerable people to rich people.  . . . . Passing the bill without a score from the CBO is a signal that Republican legislators are not taking the economic dimensions of this issue seriously, so we can follow their lead and move on to the heart of the matter.
The other explanation given by House Republicans for passing the bill is political. These congressmen felt they had to repeal the Affordable Care Act because they promised to do so. Most Americans have no quibble with Obamacare itself, but for Republicans, repealing it is and always has always been a way to repudiate former president Barack Obama. Since taking office, President Trump has done several things that he previously chastised Obama for, but these contradictions have had little impact on his party or their supporters. This is largely because GOP voters’ disdain for Obama and support for Trump cannot be separated from findings about racism. Studies conducted after the election confirm that racial resentment directed toward people of color predicted both overall support for Trump and voters’ propensity to switch from Obama to Trump.
GOP voters know they don’t like Obama, but they do not know Obama’s legislative record, whether it pertains to the economic recovery or health care legislation. A December 2016 poll showed that 67 percent of Trump voters believed that unemployment had risen during Obama’s tenure, even though it dramatically declined. A February 2017 poll found that one third of all Americans did not even know that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were the same thing. Over half of the Republicans in that poll did not know whether Medicaid would be impacted by repealing Obamacare. Medicaid will be gutted by the new bill.
So the naked truth is that racial resentment directed toward Obama set off a chain of events that will likely cause 20 million people to lose their health insurance and ignite a public health crisis of unimaginable consequence. Some time ago, I wrote about one of the myths of white supremacy: the idea that its ill effects are limited to targeted groups. I explained, “What white supremacy does, eventually, is normalize and spread the abuse, trauma, and destruction initially prescribed for targeted groups.” The damage prescribed by hateful ideologies is most severe within targeted groups, but it is never contained. 

All because Trump supporters cannot see beyond the color of others' skin - or their sexual orientation, national origin and others triggers for bigotry.   I do worry about the impact on children, but for the adults who support this horrible agenda, I'd be lying if I said I did not hope they suffer greatly.

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