Backers of Trumpcare don’t care whether you live or die. All Donald Trump and his Republican minions care about is getting rid of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The fact is they don’t give a damn whether you have preexisting health conditions that hamper your ability to get affordable healthcare in the future.
Add two south Florida names to the list of the members of Congress who don’t care: U.S. Representatives Mario Diaz Balart and Carlos Curbelo. Both voted this past week to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a bill nobody knows for sure what it stands for. “It’s a work in progress,” is what I hear. And the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has yet to score it. In other words, it has not run numbers to see what it will cost and how many people it will affect, positively and negatively, if passed.
(How can they score it when nobody really knows everything the law stands for?)
Although there seems to be consensus that preexisting conditions will be left to discretion of the states. Better said, if you have high blood pressure, cancer or any medical malady, you’re screwed. Can you find me Americans after a certain age with not a single physical malady…
Also, if you’re over a certain age, get ready for your premiums to shoot up. For those with perfectly healthy, young bodies, don’t worry, your premiums will not be raised. One other thing, if you’re wealthy, you just got lucky — again. There’s another tax break coming your way.
With their votes Diaz Balart and Curbelo bowed to the holy trinity (more on this later) of politics this past week. And after announcing her intentions to retire after the end of her term next year, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen did the right thing again and voted against the Republican plan to do away with the ACA.
The vote by Diaz Balart and Curbelo will be felt here more than in most places around the country. A Kaiser Family Foundation study demonstrates that Miami has the highest concentration of Obamacare users in the nation. More than 365,000 human beings stand to lose health care if the plan Diaz Balart and Curbelo voted for — which still has a long way to go to become law — passes the Senate and is then sent to the president for his signature.
But as I stated, Diaz Balart and Curbelo don’t care about you. They’ll tell you they do. They DON’T! Or else why would they vote to place thousand of their district constituents in harms way? “According to an analysis by McClatchy’s D.C. news bureau,” reports the Miami New Times, the “the ten highest-enrollment districts are all in Florida, and the top four sit in Miami-Dade County. Rep. Frederica Wilson’s district includes 94,100 enrollees, followed by Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s 92,500 and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s 83,000.”
Like I said, it’s all about the trinity. And Diaz Balart and Curbelo bow to that god.
Members of Congress are supposedly elected to serve constituents in their districts. That is not always the case. In fact, elected leaders in 2017 are usually more in tune with what certain sectors of their constituents want, at the expense of their voting public. Oftentimes, the constituency that gets the politician’s attention is not even from his or her district.
We’ll refer to that constituency as special interests — this can be a wide array of people and interests, but today’s politician pays special attention to those who promise money, mucho money.
It is why the politicians’ playbook is highlighted by the holy trinity:
- Rule number one: Reelection begins the day after you win your election.
- Rule number two: Do what you must to get reelected.
- And rule number three: For success with rules one and two, follow and bow to the money.
Please note that the district or the voting public in that district is not of great importance in the holy trinity. Because elections have shown us that deep down in that rule book one finds, in small letters, this point emphasized: “Voters can be manipulated to believe almost anything. Therefore adhere to rules one, two and three.”
We will see how much voters pay attention when votes by their members of congress affect them very directly. And with 2018 shaping up to be a possibly historic election that sees a major swing away from anything with the name Trump attached to it, I am waiting to see how Curbelo (especially) and Diaz Balart stand up to the barrage coming their way — for openly siding against their own voters in exchange for… I wish I knew.
I look forward to see how they spin and lie to their public to convince them to vote in their favor. Expect Cuba to play a role in the election of these two. They will try to make it an issue using the old playbook. Although by then not even Raúl Castro may be in power.
But I’ve got a gut feeling that most people are tired of being played with for their votes. So Ros-Lehtinen, who seems to have seen the writing on the wall, may turn out to be the only smart one of the group.