Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Neil Macdonald Has the Long And the Short of Americans and Their Healthcare Quandry

The CBC's Neil Macdonald has picked up a lot during his years working in the United States. Among other things he's gotten a pretty good handle on Americans and their love-hate relationship with health care.

America's conservative establishment, particularly in rural and poor states, has done a superb job of convincing the people who most need government's help that asking for it is shameful — it's socialism and it's evil — and that they should effectively vote against their own economic self-interest.

Americans are raised to believe that anything is possible in America if you are pure of heart and willing to work hard, which is nonsense, and that anyone can become president, which is even more foolish, and that free markets always make the right decision, which is nuts.

They are told that rugged individualism is the American way, which it isn't, and that government is never the solution, which it sometimes most definitely is.

Eventually, these national myths cross over into outright delusion; large segments of the populace, people who are dependent on all manner of government programs, come to believe they are not, and freely vote for wealthy politicians who make no secret of their intention to defund or dismantle those programs in the name of Americanism, and Jesus Christ our Lord (see: Planned Parenthood).

Anyone who's ever attended a Tea Party rally has seen that phenomenon in operation. People on Medicaid-supplied wheelchairs, living on social security disability or supplementing their income with food stamps, demanding radical cuts to government.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. In states such as Oklahoma and Arkansas and Louisiana, where working-class people overwhelmingly bought the idea that a Manhattan billionaire would champion them, those people are now slowly, groggily realizing that he surrounded himself with other billionaires, and is intent on cutting all sorts of government programs they like to pretend they don't depend on, but do.

Not that Trump voters want to keep Obamacare. They don't. They hate Obamacare. But many of them have come to depend on the Affordable Care Act, and would rather it not be changed (The ACA is Obamacare, of course, but in the cognitive dissonance of Trump Nation, that's beside the point).

That, of course, is fine to say in the abstract, while Trump's proposed cuts are still being negotiated with Congress, and haven't yet begun to bite.

But they will, presumably. And the desire of working class conservative Americans to teach the damned liberals a lesson will collide with their grocery list and ability to pay the mortgage or rent, while Trump's planned tax cuts make America's affluent even more affluent.

It'll be interesting to watch how Republicans sell it all. As proud citizens doing their part for America, most likely. And for Jesus.


Anonymous said...

When denying oneself health care I think of this episode!

And the rags to riches USA reminds me of this.


And now for something completely different.
Pick the mountains in this selection.
Pick the road signs in this selection !!

rumleyfips said...

Republicans would be fine with healthcare if it was for whites only. They will, however, screw themselves over if they think it hurts the black population.

Toby said...

TB wrote, "And now for something completely different.
Pick the mountains in this selection.
Pick the road signs in this selection !!"

Yeah, Google is going nuts. Sometimes I have to refresh 10 or 12 times before it will accept that I'm not one of their bots.

Anonymous said...

Partisan clap trap. Americans do hate Obamacare: it's a crappy Republican healthcare reform that left 30-million uninsured and does nothing to rein in skyrocketing insurance rates. It's not surprising moderate Republicans rejected any changes to it: they got their way in the end.

MacDonald left out the part where the Manhattan billionaire represented the working class by killing Obama's TPP gambit and reversing free trade globalization. It's the only time a president has represented workers in 40 years.

If the Democrats get power in 2020, let's just hope they don't make Trump's tax cuts permanent like they did Bush's and Reagan's.

John B. said...

He left out the part about the Deep State too.

The Mound of Sound said...

Oh, you're right, John. No mention of the dreaded Deep State. I know, Macdonald must be on the take. Plainly he's been bought off. I'm sure it was an inside job. Don't worry, Trump will fix it because those tax cuts for the rich dressed up as health care, he was only taking a stand for working class Americans.