by Sandra M. Hawkes
The American people with good sense breathed a collective sigh of relief on Friday March 24, 2017 as the republican controlled Congress voted against the proposed AHCA bill covertly crafted by House Speaker Paul Ryan, and countless other clandestine cowards in congress beholden to the new Trump administration. Paul Ryan conceded defeat by pulling the proposal when it became apparent the required votes to pass this legislation would fail on the House floor. The typical unpresidential response was to blame it on the Democrats – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The process leading up to the showdown parallels the centuries old game of blind man’s bluff in which one player, designated as “It”, is blindfolded and gropes around attempting to touch the other players without being able to see them, while the other players scatter and try to avoid the person who is “it”, hiding in plain sight and sometimes teasing them to make them change direction. In this case “It’ were the members of Congress and the Senate. No amount of hiding or persuasion could deter or sway the real ‘blind man’ leading the United States.
Photo- Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times
In spite of the constant antagonism, arm twisting and outright threats to Republican congressmen around this critical piece of legislation, the Republican controlled Congress played their roles well possibly avoiding damage to their current and future reputations with their constituents. “It” aka Trump blinded by his own agenda chose to be blind to all of the downstream ramifications to the under-insured and uninsured. After all in his own words, ‘he is the President’.
According to data compiled at the end of 2015 by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the number of uninsured non-elderly Americans stood at 28.5 million, a decrease of nearly 13 million since 2013. During the 2016 open enrollment period 6.4 million signed up for the Affordable Care Act. Individuals and families can still obtain health insurance if they meet their state’s criteria even though the January 31 enrollment deadline has passed.
If the people had allowed themselves to be blinded and intimidated by the blatant lies and outrageous claims from “It” they would have lost a chance to get much needed health insurance coverage. “It” refuses to see anything that does not serve his agenda even when the blindfold was removed.
The other considerations are the actual technical challenges and processes required to implement the proposed changes without budget funding; and valuable knowledge leaving via mass retirements. “It” was blind again by issuing executive orders to impose a freeze on federal agency hiring and spending.
The battle has been won for this round, but the war rages on.
Sandi Hawkes, CEO – GetWrite4U, LLC is a Freelance writer based in Gaithersburg, Maryland.