Apparently we’re all going to die. We’re all going to die here in short order and we’ll all have Republicans, who were elected to Congress in record majorities, to blame. Good job everyone.
That’s the message coming out of Democrats and duly picked up by national media after yesterday’s House passage of the amended American Health Care Act. “Families will go bankrupt. People will die,” Chief Elizabeth Warren signaled on Twitter. ““This will cost American lives if it ever becomes law,” claimed Cory Booker on MSNBC. “This will mean death, pain, and suffering to people’s families.” Chris Murphy, never one to be outdone in using death to exploit, tweeted: “House GOP, I hope you slept well last night. Because after this vote, you will have the death of thousands of your conscience forever.”
The Daily Kos shouted: “House Republicans vote to sentence millions of Americans to death!” The newly ‘elected’ head of the DNC, Tom Perez said: “Trump and Republicans will own every preventable death.”. Perez is somehow allowed to go unchallenged on what constitutes a preventable death.
Democrats have been riding the death wave now for awhile. When it comes to the climate cycles of the planet, we’re all going to die. Healthcare, all dead. Soda tax? Gotta do it or we’re all dead. A Donald Trump tweet about North Korea? Now he really went and killed everyone.
As Democrats –fueled more and more by a willing media and celebrity microphones– have amplified their dire warnings, the smaller and smaller their electorate has become. Their entire party philosophy for almost a decade now has become “Vote for us or people will die”. On top of these childish hysterics, popular media is all too willing to oblige them. Vox continues to roll out story after story of people who really love Obamacare, and who are all going to die without it. The Washington Post got on the ball with a story of a rape survivor who now is going to die.
The primary problem, among many others with this strategy, is simple: Nobody believes them anymore. When everything is an imminent catastrophe, nothing is and life now moves at the speed of Twitter. Of course, quoting Chuck Palahniuk, “In the Tibetan philosophy, Sylvia Plath sense of the word I know we’re all dying…”
But the party of the happy grim reaper (on everything it seems except Planned Parenthood) is missing historical context. When almost six million Americans received policy cancellation notices in 2013–a shock to many as they were promised by Barack Obama they wouldn’t be getting those letters–there were not dire warnings of bodies in the streets from “the party of compassion”. Americans were told they would simply be receiving something better in return. Their old policies were outdated. There were no cable news hysterics.
Another point: for every Democrats’ story of someone affected by losing their Obamacare plan that Vox puts up in lights, there are stories of people either losing their own life saving insurance or not being able to afford their new plan. For every cancer patient with a reporter in their living room now, there is a family member of one who lost their own oncologist during treatment. Democracy dying in darkness, indeed.
These people were resoundingly ignored by mainstream outlets from 2010 to about 2014 when they didn’t make their point to The Washington Post, The New York Times or Buzzfeed. They made it in the voting booth. As Hillary Clinton continues to limp from one post election pity party to the other groaning about James Comey or Russia, the media continues to ignore the effect of the news four days prior to the Comey letter to Congress, about Obamacare premiums spiking almost 20%. Mrs. Clinton had no answer for it. On October 24th, when news broke of Obamacare premiums once again skyrocketing in 2017, Hillary Clinton was tweeting out another celebrity video.
There is another aspect to shouting everyone’s going to die that Democrats and media simply won’t face: Health insurance just isn’t a top priority for healthy individuals and families.
Democrats can argue the point day after day that it should be, but this isn’t a priority that is aligned with many day to day voters. What people care about is not having the $700 to fix their car or house, or take a vacation or improve the quality of day to day life for their family, that they are simply pissing away to an Obamacare fine or for a premium or deductible they can’t afford.
This was a key part of Bill Kristol’s seminal 1993 memo that rallied the opposition to Hillarycare (‘member Hillarycare? 2016 voters ‘member!). The healthcare crisis was largely blown out of proportion to push expanded government coverage onto people who for the most part were satisfied with their coverage.
Just because Barack Obama and the Democratic Party demanded that Americans prioritize health insurance didn’t mean Americans were going to–and forcing it upon them only ended in the complete decimation of the Democrats at both the state and federal levels. This point was also directed more specifically over at Marginal Revolution :
The somewhat depressing and underexplored implication is that the beneficiaries do not love Obamacare as much as some of you do. In fact you may remember a result from last year, from the research of Mark Pauly, indicating that “close to half” of households covered by the unsubsidized mandate, by the standards of their own preferences, would prefer not to purchase health insurance. And that was before some of the recent rounds of premium increases, and overall these new results seem to imply even lower demands for health insurance relative to cash.
This also coincides with a recent poll that shows the Democratic Party out of touch with the needs of almost two thirds of all Americans. Combine that with a media-at-large ignoring massive market problems with Obamacare who now act all too eager to echo the Democrats’ declarations of bodies in the streets.
There can be measured opposition to the AHCA, now that House Republicans have now forever ceded the argument that big government is not the solution to rising healthcare costs and a shrinking Obamacare market. Democrats and their media allies aren’t interested in that kind of opposition. Both are preoccupied with the viral soundbite and shock quick clicks. This hasn’t worked out too well for them thus far.
The other Stephen Miller. I’ve recently converted over to an electric toothbrush to cut down on carbon pollution from coming out of my mouth.
Follow on twitter @redsteeze