Eat Your Red Meat

I try to avoid writing on topics that are overly populist (i.e. ideas that are so obviously appealing to virtually everyone). Don’t get me wrong. I like a populist message as much as the next person, probably more in fact, but there’s a fine line between appealing to the public with a man-of-the-people kind of idea and simply throwing red meat to the masses.

But today I am delivering that red meat, a populist message that is completely unrealistic, silly, impossible, pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. I am advocating for a revocation of the government healthcare currently provided to every House Republican.

See if you can fathom the cajones it takes for Congressional Republicans to offer the following idea: While we and our families enjoy first-rate government-provided healthcare that is funded by American tax payers, we vehemently oppose the government using tax dollars to help provide healthcare to you and your families. To prevent you from having the same benefits that we have, we will go so far as to shut down the U.S. government and indefinitely put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. Who’s with us?!

I don’t mind people advocating for self-reliance and making a case against government programs. Nor do I mind people benefitting from government programs. But nothing grinds my gears more than people who do both.

When I worked for the VA I regularly came into contact with patients who railed against Americans who depend on the government for financial assistance, while those people doing the complaining simultaneously collected disability checks, had free government healthcare, attended VA-sponsored events, and took advantage of a multitude of other government-funded goodies.

What Congressional Republicans are doing is even worse. They have spun the issue of Obamacare until it’s no longer recognizable, and they have actually convinced millions of Americans that getting healthcare is bad for them. But these Republicans keep forgetting to explain why they continue to have and use their government-provided healthcare coverage.

In the end, it’s all a big charade. Congressional Republicans know that a government shutdown won’t stop Obamacare from being enacted. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded in a memorandum earlier this summer that a funding lapse related to a government shutdown would not affect Obamacare. The governmental entities required to operate Obamacare would remain in operation through a government shutdown, much the same way Americans would continue to collect Social Security checks and Medicare/Medicaid benefits. I hope that Congressional Republicans aren’t so clueless as to really believe that a government shutdown means the entire government actually shuts down. But I wouldn’t put it past them.

So if Obamacare is happening no matter what, what’s the motivation for Congressional Republicans? Answer: To delegitimize the President; to put a stain on his single-greatest legislative achievement; and to fire up the conservative base in hopes that they turn out in droves on Election Day. Country First, indeed.

So here’s my completely unrealistic solution: Revoke the government-provided healthcare enjoyed by Congressional Republicans. Once they learn what it’s like to not have healthcare for themselves or their families, then they can talk to the rest of us about the importance of defunding Obamacare.

– Nathan


2 Responses to “Eat Your Red Meat”

  1. How can a healthcare program that delivers so little be criticized so much? I think you hit the nail on the perverbial head.


  2. “Republicans keep forgetting to explain why they continue to have and use their government-provided healthcare coverage.”

    This requires an explanation? Congressmen work for their “free” healthcare. By this logic, every citizen should also get $174k/yr cash and a $1.3M/yr expense account because that’s what those hypocritical congressmen take from tax payers.

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