There’s more than a little delicious irony in the fact that the shebeen was late in opening on Tuesday because I had to go in for regular medical treatment for a chronic condition handed down to me by my Celtic-Norman ancestors. That gave me a good chance to look over the malodorous sheaf of shredder-fodder produced by the House of Representatives as an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. This isn’t a plan. This is not a burlesque of a plan. This is not even a ghost of a plan. And everybody hates it.
(I also was late in opening because a water main broke and pretty much shut down the whole Fenway neighborhood to vehicular traffic of any kind. Infrastructure next! And what a joy that’s likely to be.)
And here is something else that it is not. It is not TrumpCare. It is RepubliCare. The bill that dropped like a dead fish in a sanctuary late Monday evening is the culmination of nearly 25 years of Republican policy thinking since Bill Clinton put health care reform at the top of the agenda in the 1992 campaign. All of the greatest hits are in there, and they’re all just as cruel and stupid and unworkable as they ever were. This is why it’s RepubliCare:
- Health Savings Accounts! Start saving when you’re three and if you spend the rest of your life living atop a flagpole, you might be able to afford half-a-round of chemo when you’re 60.
- Health Insurance Across State Lines! Let’s apply the always consumer-friendly business model of the credit card industry to something people literally need to stay alive.
- Block Grants! Also known as the Scott Walker Cronies Supplemental Income Act of 2017.