John Boehner Demands Fairness to Arkansan Butch Matthews and His Wife, and Offers to Give Up His Own Healthcare Insurance, Just to Start the Fairness Thing Rolling.
WASHINGTON — House Republicans emerged from a closed-door meeting on Friday with no new strategy to end the budget standoff and an angry plea to President Obama to negotiate over his health care law.
“This isn’t some damned game,” said Speaker John A. Boehner, his voice rising in anger. “The American people don’t want their government shut down, and neither do I. All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion, reopen the government and bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare.”
— With No New Plan, Boehner Makes Angry Plea on Shutdown, Jonathan Wiesmann and Ashley Parker, New York Times, today
I totally agree that we need fairness to the American people under Obamacare. But which, presumably, Boehner means that Obamacare should be amended to ensure that everyone has medical insurance with full benefits (the “gold” policy) without struggling to pay the premiums.
No more having to pay $13,000 per year for a married couple with $10,000/yr., $150-per-office-visit, deductibles. Even if, like Arkansan Butch Matthews and his wife, you’re a lifelong solid Republican.
No more being rejected for healthcare coverage because of a preexisting condition.
No more fear of bankruptcy or the loss of your home, or both.
No more being asked the status of your mortgage payments and car payments in a hospital emergency room, as a prerequisite to non-lifesaving but necessary emergency treatment.
No more not being treated like citizen of any advanced nation in the world except the United States, when you need medical care. Which you probably aren’t. Or like you’re not a member of Congress or the spouse or child of one. Also which you probably aren’t. No, sir. No, ma’am.
Oh, but wait. I think I misunderstood Boehner’s comment about fairness to the American people—a comment he has made, repeatedly, this week. Apparently, he didn’t mean that the multitudes of American people who now have no access to healthcare insurance, or have huge deductibles and struggle to pay the premiums and those deductibles because they have lower incomes than John Boehner and his colleagues, and who now will have medical coverage without struggling financially to pay for it while still worrying about the huge costs if they do need major medical treatment, will now have access to affordable and comprehensive medical insurance.
What he actually meant is that the Republicans are demanding that they and their congressional colleagues and their families henceforth be denied healthcare benefits for preexisting conditions; that those who have no persisting conditions and therefore can get medical insurance have huge deductibles and pay premiums that they can afford or instead have comprehensive insurance and pay their utility bills only every other month in order to be able to afford the premiums; and that they take pay cuts sufficient to make the payment of those difficult financially.
It is, after all, fairness that they’re demanding. Parity. And since they now say that they’d settle for just a one-year delay in Obamacare in order to pass a short-term budge and a debt-ceiling increase, they are demanding only a one-year removal of their own healthcare benefits. At least until next year, when they renew their demand, for another year.
I suggest that Boehner contact Mr. Matthews and his wife directly and tell them the good news. They’re sure to welcome the fairness.