Monday, January 9, 2017
Hands Off My Trumpcare!
Danville, Kentucky -- America is a nation of builders. We love to create, construct, craft, and assemble. We built the glorious visages of Mt. Rushmore, the Washington Monument’s skyward spire, the winding highways upon which our systems of commerce depend, and the golden arches that litter strip malls around our good land.
But America also loves to destroy. To demolish, obliterate, erase, and unmoor the foundations of yesterday to make room for tomorrow.
Folks, I know this truth more than most Americans. Around 2009 I had a gig on a demolition crew. We were the most over-qualified demolition crew ever. In the aftermath of the 2008 Obama recession, folks were desperate for jobs. My co-workers and fellow demolition enthusiasts included ex-real estate agents, laid off auto engineers, some scrawny kid with a degree in supply chain management, an ex-quality control specialist, a guy from middle management of a dishwasher manufacturer, and recent college graduates who left their cozy campuses only to find a barren job market. We were an unlikely bunch, but we all needed to provide for our families, and folks willing to get their hands dirty while knocking down old buildings are always in demand. Some of these folks were not accustomed to the blue-collar lifestyle, unfamiliar with the sound and the fury that accompanies demolition projects. But they didn’t complain. Beggars can’t be choosers. They were just grateful to have any job at all.
Folks, if you ignored the pressing economic conditions that led us to enter the demolition business, it was rewarding employment. Dismantling a building brick by brick and stone by stone is quite a rush. There's nothing more exhilarating than knocking down walls with only a sledgehammer and your own inner fury. Sometimes, as I would hack away with my trusty chainsaw, I’d imagine the faces of the elites who authored the financial crisis: John McCain, Harry Reid, Meryl Streep, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Michael Moore. It was an outlet for the lingering rage I felt towards a country and government that had abandoned and forsaken me.
A few months after starting the job, I had a horrible workplace accident. Some bozo dropped a tool-case full of heavy equipment on my right foot and shattered several bones. The foot had been infected with gout a few years prior. Insurance companies wouldn’t cover the injury because of this pre-existing condition. I can't really blame them, folks. Why would they want to insure me? I would cost the insurance company a ton of money, and the insurance company folks are trying to run a business after all. I couldn’t afford to pay for the surgical procedures that would repair my foot, or even a cast. But whose fault is that? I can't afford a Blu-Ray player or a motor scooter either, should the government provide me subsidies to purchase those too?
My dilemma illuminates the basic crisis facing the American healthcare system: folks get hurt or sick, and want big government to fix all their problems. Thanks to Obamacare, a startling throwback to the centrally-planned nightmare of Soviet Russia, America’s healthcare system is in worse shape than ever. The problem is that millennials want free stuff from the government, and they want taxpayers to foot the bill. Folks, we should know by now that government is the problem not the solution, as President Reagan once said. What America’s healthcare system needs is not more communist solutions like Obamacare. We need to unleash the ingenuity of America’s private sector.
When I look around America, I see folks struggling. I see folks in my own Kentucky neighborhood suffering from black lung, or toiling because of opioid addiction. Trump needs to fix this morass, and turn the socialist horrors of Obamacare into the free market brilliance of Trumpcare. Here’s how to make American healthcare great again – greater than ever before:
PROHIBIT DENIAL OF COVERAGE BECAUSE OF PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
Folks, the government needs to make sure that what happened to me never happens to anyone else. Because no company would give me insurance after my demolition accident, I could never receive treatment for my gout or the shattered bones in my foot. I had to wrap duct-tape around my foot until it healed. I went through so many pairs of socks because of my foot’s annoying habit of continually bleeding. It’s a no brainer for the government to step in and guarantee that the insurance companies don’t snub hardworking folks who are between a rock and a hard place.
CREATE TAX CREDITS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES THAT PROVIDE INSURANCE
Folks, providing healthcare can be expensive. Especially if you’re a “mom and pop” business. Many small businesses would like to offer healthcare plans to their employees, but have trouble finding the resources to do so. To nudge the market in the right direction, the government should offer tax credits to compensate businesses that help their employees pay for coverage. Loyalty to one’s employees should be rewarded, folks. Offering tax cuts to businesses that exhibit loyalty to their employees allows us to both expand coverage while adhering to conservative principles.
LET KIDS STAY ON THEIR PARENTS’ PLANS
Folks, it’s hard for young kids to get insurance these days thanks to the Obama recession. Fewer jobs means fewer employers willing to offer coverage to their employees. If their parents already have a coverage plan, why not let the kids stay on it just a little bit longer? How about until the children turn 26? Kids these days are already freeloaders, so there’s no harm in giving parents some peace of mind by making sure they can keep their kids covered for a little bit longer.
KEEP MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY
Trump did not campaign on corporate lackey Paul Ryan’s callous austerity platform which entails huge cuts to Medicare and Social Security. I voted for Trump because he promised to keep the good government programs that help people like me while ensuring that foreigners don't steal our entitlements. Trump reached me like no politician since Barry Goldwater or Joe Biden has reached me before. Trump understands that sometimes the government needs to lend a helping hand to hardworking folks like myself. That’s why Donald said “you need to help people” even though “it's not very Republican to say.”
Donald Trump is the man that told Americans he wouldn’t allow folks to die in the street. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan wants us to die in the streets, or at a minimum to be sent to poorhouses like Victorian England. Every senior citizen receiving affordable life-saving treatment thanks to LBJ’s Great Society programs is just a leech sapping resources and committing theft against taxpayers in the eyes of Paul Ryan, America's blue-eyed executioner. The silent majority did not vote to kill our grandparents. We did not vote for Paul Ryan’s “Better Way,” Donald.
REQUIRE PEOPLE TO BUY INSURANCE, AND OFFER SUBSIDIES TO THOSE WHO CAN’T
Nobody should have to foot their own healthcare bill when disaster strikes. When I grievously wounded my foot, I had to sell my cherished baseball card collection and favorite motorcycle to afford treatment. That’s not ideal. If we’re going to stop insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, we need to mandate that everyone has insurance or the market will enter a death spiral. We can’t have ONLY sick people in the insurance market, we need healthy people as well. Thomas Paine would call that commonsense, folks. The best part is that my plan utilizes free market forces to help increase coverage.
Thanks to my hard work, I eventually paid for the treatments and my foot healed. These days, I enjoy going to the old Danville High football field and practicing my field goal kick with that formerly maimed foot. I’m still a great kicker, better than lots of NFL kickers I’d reckon. But not all folks are as lucky as me. For those who can’t raise the funds to pay for their expensive medical treatments, the government should be a force for good and help these folks achieve their American Dream. America loves to both create and destroy. That’s why Trump should annihilate Obamacare and replace it with the commonsense conservative plan I have outlined here. From the ashes of our current healthcare disaster, we will build a workable alternative. You’re gonna love Trumpcare, folks.