Ordinary Americans will soon learn how they are to figure in the grand story of the future the GOP is always telling. It’s a story that sees America and Americans as trammeled by rules that bug them and taxes so onerous they can’t sleep at night, that sees happiness as a precipitate left over after “school choice” causes public schools to evaporate. The Republican narrative promises to rescue Americans from a tyrannical government and recent policy “disasters.” Long-term security will grow rather than decrease once the nation is liberated from the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and the tangible health benefits it guarantees.
This rhetoric is about to collide with physical reality. Will a Republican-led Congress be so vain and rash as to abandon health guarantees that an entire nation has grown accustomed to? Yes, Congress should act to constrain premium increases and restore competitive insurance options where they are lacking, but why deprive the nation of the happy consciousness that we’re all in it together, which is, at bottom, the signal benefit of Obamacare? This is precisely what Republicans are most eager to destroy.
Under the present system, some well-off Americans are obliged to spend more for insurance than they would like; however, millions of Americans are newly insured, and hundreds of thousands are addressing health problems that have afflicted them for years. Knowing that we are achieving something so gloriously humane makes the hassle and collective sacrifice worthwhile. If Congress were wise, it would aim at enhancing this precious peace of mind.
Image: 80,000 miners listening to Theodore Roosevelt
(1905 daguerreotype by Underwood & Underwood),
from this source.