Letter: Randy Ihara, South Riding

Editor: I am writing to express my outrage at the joyous celebration by the Republicans and the President of the United States (!) for the passage by the House of Representatives of their legislation that will leave millions of Americans unable to afford health insurance, lavish unconscionable tax breaks for the wealthy, and allow states to waive requirements that insurance policies must include people with pre-existing conditions, thus allowing those companies to charge higher premiums. They would also allow the companies to charge the elderly five times more for their insurance than younger people.

The Republicans celebration and self-congratulation for dismantling the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee that ordinary Americans could protect themselves from bankruptcy due to medical bills was a ghoulish spectacle broadcast live on network and cable TV. It was a tragic scene, allowing Americans to witness how far a once proud party has fallen.

The Republican Party has been reduced to congratulating each other for ripping away the economic security of hard-working American families and expressing their glee that they will now be exposed to the predations of the health insurance industry—an “accomplishment” done only so President Trump could claim a legislative victory! In other words, the Republican vote was to flatter the political vanity of the President.

It’s not as if the legislation that was passed was an improvement over the disastrous American Health Care Act they previously supported. By making coverage for pre-existing conditions, in effect, voluntary, it was actually worse.

Lastly, the effects on the healthcare Americans of the bill they voted for were unknown. In their headlong rush to passage, the Republican Party refused to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to issue the results of its analysis! In effect, they were willing to cast a blind vote, with no idea of what the consequences of bill would be. Their previous proposal, which was a disaster, would have cost 24 million Americans their protection against impoverishment due to high medical expenses. One would think the Republicans would have guessed something similar was in store if they voted for the bill. But attending to the President’s vanity prevailed. It was a remarkably irresponsible, and immoral act, and a cause for shame, not celebration.

Randy Ihara, South Riding

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