Remember all those years ago when we laughed and laughed at the mooks carrying protest signs saying “keep government out of my Medicare”? I know I sure do!
Good times! But it turns out that we had them all wrong. The Tea Party is made up of psychic geniuses.
You see, early in the first Obama administration, these wise and prescient citizens were not, in fact, protesting the Affordable Care Act, nor the bipartisan “Grand Bargain” sought by the president to
reduce the deficit fuck over the poor and the elderly for the benefit of America’s Owners. Nope. It now appears that these gifted clairvoyants were actually warning their Republican representatives not to fuck with their government healthcare by privatizing it! For lo and behold, the ink isn’t even dry on New Yorkers’ protest signs, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is already rumbling about doing just that.
It’s true that Ryan has long been itching to turn Medicare/Medicaid into a shitty voucher system that would “help” beneficiaries pay for private insurance. It’s also true that Paul Ryan is a lying liar who lies. On Friday he told Fox News’ Bret Baier with a straight face that “Because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke.” Here’s Steve Benen at MSNBC on that bullshit:
This is critically important, in part because Ryan is brazenly lying. The budgetary reality, whether Republicans like it or not, is that the Affordable Care Act improved Medicare’s financial stability, extending the system’s solvency by more than a decade. There’s an inside-the-Beltway assumption that when it comes to fiscal arithmetic, Ryan can be trusted to get the numbers right. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.
But in this case, it’s also worth appreciating why Ryan is so shamelessly trying to deceive the public.
Throughout the Obama era, Ryan has pushed a radical budget plan that would effectively eliminate the Medicare system, phasing it out of existence and replacing it with a voucher system. Seniors, under the Speaker’s vision, would stop receiving guaranteed care under a popular and effective government-run program, and would instead receive vouchers that would help pay for coverage through private insurers.
But the Tea Partiers were clearly onto him—and they were not having any of that. What’s more, their math skills are much better than Speaker Ryan’s. They obviously knew, like anyone else paying even minimal attention, that health care costs in the US are massively bloated by private insurers to the tune of 30%, compared to the single-payer Medicare system that costs less that 1% to do the same fucking thing. Well, okay, not the exact same fucking thing: private insurers are first and foremost in the business of maximizing profit, not anything so frivolous as ensuring the efficient delivery of quality, affordable health care to their own customers. I mean come on, NO ONE WANTS THAT. And naturally when big business interests directly conflict with the medical needs of the elderly and the poor, we can always count on conservative lawmakers to seize that opportunity to sacrifice citizens on the altar to their corporate gods.
The Tea Partiers foresaw all of this! People, they have been trying to tell us all along that they simply will not stand for the government fucking with their Medicare! How could we have missed it?! Maybe it’s because being conservatives and all, they are constitutionally incapable of giving a single shit about the rest of their fellow citizens. But fortunately for everyone else, at least these entitled assholes know where their own “free” motorized wheelchair-scooters and oxygen tanks come from: Medicare.
I for one applaud the Tea Party, offer a tip of my tricorn hat in their general direction, and look forward to seeing even more of their stunningly prophetic (if 100% self-interested) activism on behalf of single-payer health care in the dark days to come. Narcissistic shitweasels FTW!
Of course, no one in our crack campaign media ever bothered to ask Donald Trump what he thinks of Speaker Ryan’s longstanding budget plans. But really, the only important thing to note here is that five days after the election, a fully Republican government is already open for business. And I do mean for business.