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Hullabaloo


Friday, March 10, 2017

 

It's "great" when Americans don't work together

by Tom Sullivan

Baby Boomers are too young to remember victory gardens, bacon grease recycling, and Rosie the Riveter, the icon celebrating American women working in WWII factories to build tanks and ships and airplanes for the war effort. But that was over 70 years ago. Somewhere along the way, the Midas cult soured on Americans pulling together. That spirit is dead.

Today, the only female production cultists concern themselves with is reproduction. And they're pretty selective about that, too. Under the new regime, it's every man for himself. Women are nobody's concern except women's. At least, that's how Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois treats their health care. This exchange during the 27 hours of debate on the Republican Obamacare replacement in the House Energy and Commerce Committee captures the new Make America Great Again ethos.

The Republican congressman voiced complaints about coverage mandated in the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle (Pa.) asked him to give specifics:

"What about men having to purchase prenatal care?" Shimkus replied. "I’m just ... is that not correct? And should they?"

Doyle reminded Shimkus there is no health care plan that covers only the personal medical choices of each person.

"There's no such thing as a la carte insurance, John," Doyle stated.

"That's the point, that's the point," Shimkus countered. "We want the consumer to be able to go to the insurance market and be able to negotiate on a plan."

"You tell me what insurance company will [negotiate a plan]," Doyle fired back. "There isn't a single insurance company in the world that does that, John. You're talking about something that doesn't exist."

In a press release from June 2013, Shimkus identified himself as "a Christian who is 100 percent pro-life."


Shimkus' views are of a piece with Speaker Paul Ryan's misshapen views of how insurance is supposed to work. He displayed those yesterday in a PowerPoint presentation that opened him up to instant Internet mockery. Charlie Pierce writes:
It was like watching something on cable access late at night, or a flop-sweaty rookie substitute teacher, and it was hilarious—except for the parts where people will lose their health insurance and die, of course. And this is what he said and, peace be unto Dave Barry, I am not making it up, either:

Paul Ryan said that insurance cannot work if healthy people have to pay more to subsidize the sick.

This is literally how all insurance works. If someone's house burns down, some of your fire insurance money goes to help that person rebuild. If someone gets sick, some of your premium, healthy person, goes toward that person's coverage. Increasingly, I have come to believe that Paul Ryan is a not particularly bright creature from another world. Let us see if we can explain this to the lad.
This is literally how America provides for the common defense and general welfare, too, by pooling resources and sharing risks. It's how we bought those ships Rosie riveted.

God save us all, Ryan is still in training pants and they let him drive and vote. He's two steps away from the White House and he'd be an improvement on the current resident.

Susie Madrak tweeted:

But what really churns my gut is this anti-American view among the likes of Ryan and Shimkus that it is somehow anti-American for Americans to pull together, to pool resources and have each other's backs. You know, all that "We Did It Before and We Can Do It Again" stuff. All that working together for the common good from before my time when America was supposed to be great or something. Now it's "American" to think I've got mine, screw you.

Timeshare salesmen indeed.