Repubs Finally Unmask Their Healthcare Agenda – And It Isn’t Patient-Centered

Feb 17, 2017

By Donna Smith, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America

If you have been inclined to trust in any way that the Republicans in Congress or the Trump-Pence-Ryan regime intend to make things better for you and your family in terms of healthcare policy, think again and stop wondering.  The plan is simple.  They will protect and enhance the insurance companies and other profit centers in healthcare.  No matter how many ads they purchase or how much message tweaking they do, patients are not at the center of the Republican plans.

From an article in The Hill this morning, “The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed a regulation aimed at “stabilizing” the ObamaCare marketplace by making changes favorable to insurers…”

Just a bit lower in the article, we see the glaring, shocking reality of what the Republicans think of those in need of healthcare.  “The regulation requires people enrolling through extra sign-up periods outside of the normal time to provide documentation proving that they qualify — for example, that they really moved residences. This change is intended to cut down on sick people gaming the system and driving up costs.”

So as we look toward the president’s Week recess for Congress and Town Halls where Congressional Republicans will all sing from the same songbook composed by their regime in consultation with the insurance giants, those of us who give a damn about our fellow Americans might want to correct their view of sick people. 

Sick people are not attempting to game the system.  Sick people want healthcare. The real regime death panels are being carefully constructed by the Republicans under the leadership of Ryan and McConnell and blessed by the ever present insurance industry lobby Americans Health Insurance Plans, AHIP.

What will we demand of the Democrats?  It is not enough to have us queued up to defend individual provisions of the ACA/Obamacare.  It ought to be clear to the Democrats that there is no way to moderate and compromise on this sort of process.  Sick people in America need healthcare.  They do not need more regulations to protect one side or the other politically.  Sick people need healthcare.  They do not need delays to protect election year messaging.  On the House side, Dems would do well to co-sponsor and fight for John Conyers’ HR676, and on the Senate side, they would be strengthened exponentially by working with Sen. Bernie Sanders on his commitment to Medicare for all   Sick people need healthcare.

The organization I work with, Progressive Democrats of America, PDA, has long held that this nation needs sound policy that places healthcare ahead of increased investment in a war economy.  Our Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign was launched 10 years ago, and we have yet to be able to retire it. 

Sick people are not the scum of the earth seeking to game the poor, forlorn insurance companies.  The only replacement plan that a majority of Americans and an overwhelming majority of those who identify themselves as Democrats support is a Medicare for all model.  No games.  No political posturing.  No higher profits for the already profitable insurance giants.  Sick people need healthcare.  The nation needs sound healthcare policy.  Let’s get on with it. 


  1. Arnold J. Byron

    So there is not any confusion I will use the term Obama Care to stand for the ACA now in place. Republicans in Congress want to repeal Obama Care and replace it with a different ACA than we now have. We must work to save Obama Care, but we recognize that a better plan is medicare for all. I think that now is the time for a national “City to Small Town” march and demonstration for single payer health care.

    This will be a big job, but, I think it could be done. The Democratic Party (DNC) has at its disposal a state office in every state, a county organization in every county of every state. Could the DNC coordinate such a march through its state offices and county offices; especially taking into account all the energy available from organizations such as Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, Indivisible Guide, Move On and many other groups?

    One person in one county can’t make such a huge event happen. To make this work it has to come from the top down.

  2. esquirrel

    What about services liberalisation? “importing doctors+ exporting patients” isnt that what the WTO rules”least trade restrictive” “patient mobility” etc. will require?

  3. Kent

    Yes, sick people need healthcare. But healthy people need healthcare too, as sooner or later, you too will be part of the sick people. That is guaranteed. That is life.