Jimmy Kimmel Is Right About Health Care, and He’s Not Letting Liars off the Hook
Two days ago, Jimmy Kimmel once again weighed in on health care, with Senate Republicans considering yet another horrible bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Again, he faced accusations that he was just a celebrity getting in over his head, and the bill’s authors said he just didn’t understand it, while actual analysis of the bill indicates that he understands it better than they do—or they’re being deliberately disingenuous. There’s no third option.
So, last night, Kimmel returned to the topic to address his critics in even more blunt terms than he previously had, which takes a lot after explicitly notifying everyone that a senator lied to your face. As you’d expect from Kimmel, there are plenty of insults to go around, from saying Senator Bill Cassidy was caught with his “GOPenis out” to calling Brian Kimleade of Fox and Friends a “phony little creep,” but he also hit on something fundamental when he said the GOP senators are attempting to defend the indefensible.
That’s the basic problem at the root of every issue with Republican attempts to replace the ACA so far. Every single one of them has served, in some way, to reduce financial support for sick people to get health care. Their entire argument—centering around the only people they’re trying to help—is that the healthy shouldn’t subsidize the sick, so they don’t want individuals to have to pay for health insurance by law, and they want sicker people to pay higher premiums for plans that actually cover care, so that healthy people who do buy insurance can pay less money for plans that barely cover anything in return.
That’s why Republicans love to seize on it when Kimmel makes mention of the millions of people who will no longer have insurance if their plan becomes law. They see that as a feature, because they’re happy about the number of those people who will cancel their insurance for financial reasons, once there’s no longer a law that they must have insurance. The fundamental flaw in that logic—beyond the fact that some of those who may “choose” not to have insurance will be making that choice against their will, due to higher costs—is that letting those people drop out is not an improvement to the health care system. There’s no reason to be happy that health care in this country is unattainably expensive for millions of people, and so far, they haven’t proposed a single way to fix that. (No, allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines is not an answer.)
Crafting policy around the very problem that should be the focus of any fix is just a waste of time that does nothing but hurt the sick and vulnerable among us.
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