OPINION: Watching Democracy Die

OPINION:

Watching Democracy Die

By D. S. Mitchell

Wisconsin Outrage

Television images captured thousands of voters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin standing in three block long lines, face masks in place, showered intermittently with hail and rain, risking exposure to COVID-19; to exercise their right to vote. This did not need to happen. This should not have happened. Voting should not be an obstacle course. Voting should be one of the easiest things, we as citizens, ever do. It should be as easy as licking an envelope. The vote by mail push is meeting stiff resistance from the far right, particularly from Donald Trump. The politicians fear it would endanger their grip on power. Republicans in Wisconsin, and other states have used voter suppression to shrink the electorate and limit access to the polls for decades.

Anger

I was disgusted at the sight of what was happening in Wisconsin. Furious to my core. So angry, I was crying. Tears are not always shed in weakness, or defeat. Some tears are a physical manifestation of a rage so great that when held back can lead to plate smashing, door slamming, and window breaking. At other times tears are shed because the injustice of events is beyond the understanding of the human heart. In 2018, according to the Brennan Center For Justice “17 million Americans, or 8% of the nation’s electorate, were removed from voting rolls.” The clear intent was to deny particular segments of the population the right to vote.

The Whigs

In the first days of our country there was no such thing as voter registration; white men just showed up and voted. In the mid 1800’s voter registration laws began to emerge. These laws, were designed to limit participation, not encourage involvement.  One of the first voter registration laws in the country was written by New York state Whigs. The Whigs wanted to limit the voting power of Irish Catholic voters in New York City. The Irish were mostly Democratic party voters. But, the Whigs had a plan, and the legislative power to suppress the power of the growing Irish Catholic vote.

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Lies About Medicare For All

Lies About Medicare For All

By D. S. Mitchell

 

Drop The Labels

Honest health care policy experts know that the solution to fix the American health care system is staring us in the face, and it is single-payer. Whether dubbed “Medicare-for-All” or an “expansion of Medicaid” through ObamaCare. The solution is easy when labels like “socialism” “liberalism” “progressivism” are ignored. Trump and his DOJ is in court at this very moment trying to invalidate the ACA (ObamaCare). It seems that the more resistance Republicans arouse over destroying ObamaCare the voices for Medicare-for-All grows louder.

Health Care As A Right

The evidence is clear, Americans believe that every person has a right to health care, irrespective of their ability to pay. We as a people, believe that we have an obligation to take care of each other. In fact, there is more momentum for the adoption of a single-payer health care system than at any time in our history.

Scuttle Safety Net

Despite its enormous popularity and unparalleled record of success Republicans are neck-deep in their war against the nation’s health care safety net, whether it is Medicare, Medicaid or the ACA.  New Republican proposals have emerged since the 2016 election that would slash benefits for the elderly and leave older Americans at the mercy of the “for profit” insurance industry.

Voucher Plans

When Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House he was extremely vocal in his attacks against both Medicaid and Medicare. He supported a voucher program that would transfer more costs on to seniors and leave them at the mercy of the private insurance industry.  Just because Ryan is gone, doesn’t mean that the Republicans have jettisoned that philosophy. The actions to undermine Medicare and Medicaid are ongoing and must be stopped.  It is not just about protecting our existing Medicare system, it is about ensuring that every citizen has access to excellent health care as a right. In such a system it definitely works best when “everybody is in, and nobody is out.”

An American Tragedy

It is believed one hundred Americans die everyday from the lack of health insurance. That is over 30,000 unnecessary deaths each year and that number is expected to grow steadily over the next decade. This is an American tragedy.

Republican Tax Scam

The Republican tax scam was hard on American health care. Millions remain uncovered and millions more are losing coverage due to increased cost for insurance brought on by the elimination of the ACA insurance “mandate”. The insurance mandate was a device used by the ACA plan to expand the pool of healthy people in the system to keep prices down.

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Basement Hideaway?

Basement Hideaway

By D. S. Mitchell

Here at Calamity Politics I try to be proactive. In that sense of proactivism, I wrote the following letter to Mitch McConnell on the subject of health care:

3/2/2017

Dear Senator McConnell,

If you have a new health care plan, let us see it.  It’s our lives, our health care, that is on the line, not yours.  You by reports, have great health care. If it is a respectable bill, show it.  If it is a worthy replacement of for the Affordable Care Act, bring it out into the light.  Don’t hide in a darkened room in the Senate basement.  Show your work.  Let’s talk.

Sincerely,
D. S. Mitchell
www.calamitypolitics.com

Let’s see if I get an answer. I have my doubts, that I will receive a response from the leader of the Senate. He prides himself in being the “grim reaper”. Unfortunately, on health care that is a sad and sickening title. I am ready to talk. Lets stop all the political bantering and have a real discussion. I don’t want to hear McConnell’s typical rhetoric. I want to hear real discussion, real bi-partisan discussion. Health care is a right. Everyone deserves to be healthy. Health care should not be tied to the size of your wallet or the quality of your employer’s health care plan. Let’s fix this broken system. Let’s move toward Medicare for all.

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