Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Here's to more dead Republicans (a modest proposal)
The clip above from the recent Republican debate has been getting a lot of play on the Intertubes - and it is, indeed, pretty creepy; the Republican Party is now, you could credibly argue, the party of death. (A round of applause also greeted the announcement that Governor Rick Perry had executed 234 people - one or two of whom most people are convinced were innocent.)
But I ask you - is that such a bad thing? I mean, as long as it's the Republicans who end up dead?
Because I admit I found the above exchange refreshing; I just didn't think it went far enough.
For a key hypocrisy in the Republican/Tea Party opposition to Obama's healthcare reform is buried in that exchange between Wolf Blitzer and Ron Paul.
What's the hypocrisy? In short: if you feel that a requirement to join a healthcare plan is an infringement of your constitutional rights, then you should also be prepared to forswear your right to emergency room care.
Right? Of course right. In fact, far right.
Because let's talk a minute about the form of "socialized medicine" that the Tea Partiers are all unconsciously depending on: the emergency room. They seem to think that it's un-American to require folks to buy health insurance - but that somehow it's not un-American to show up at the ER with a broken bone, and get it fixed, whether or not you can pay the bill.
They seem to think it's fine that the rest of us - the ones with insurance - should pay for that treatment!
And that's socialism, my friends. Texas socialism, I should say.
Because just as a reminder: there's no guarantee of emergency room care in the U.S. Constitution. (Not even in the Second Amendment!)
So let's call a spade a spade, shall we? Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry - when it comes to the emergency room, they're all big fat commies. They never tell their supporters that if they really do oppose "Obamacare," then they simply have no right to show up at the ER without cash in hand.
Okay, at least Ron Paul is willing to face this contradiction, in a way - although later in the exchange, he backpedalled. But he and Blitzer never took the next step into public policy. For Republican opposition to "Obamacare" should, on libertarian and Tea Party principle, simply melt away if one small change were made to its implementation.
What's that change? It's the following: if, on our IRS forms, we were able to check off a box saying that we were refusing the government insurance mandate, but as a result we were also perforce waiving the right to emergency room care - and if this database were made available to American hospitals - who could disagree with the new law?
So that's my modest proposal. Give people the option on Obamacare - either sign up for it, or don't hit the ER. After all, it's a matter of personal responsibility, isn't it. Tell that to your cracked femur.
And as an added benefit, I think such an innovation could lead to more dead Republicans. Not more dead rich Republicans - the Koch brothers can afford health insurance, I'm pretty sure - but perhaps more dead members of the lunatic white-trash fringe stirring up all this ridiculous trouble. I really don't think any poverty-stricken Democrats are dumb enough to pledge to never use the emergency room - they'll just pay the tax surcharge and show up as needed. No, I think only the Tea Partiers are really that stupid.
So think about it. Healthcare reform at last.
And more dead Republicans.
I can dream, can't I?
(Next up: can we force Texas to secede?)
(P.S. - Andrew Sullivan seconds my point here.)