Gotta say. . .
A new post on the Indivisible Houston resistance group’s Facebook page asks what we might say to rightwing 'pro-life' US Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) at his town hall meeting this Saturday, 3/25/17. The topic: GOP actions to cripple or kill the ACA, ripping health coverage from millions of families who have it now only because of the current law.
A December 2016 Think Progress article, plus a February 2015 companion piece, offer a frightening look at the reality. These articles cite a Massachusetts study — implying that GOP tampering would kill one person annually for each 830 people who lose their healthcare coverage.
This implication is so huge, so in-your-face, I wanted to see the source, and located the researchers’ summary. It describes their 2014 analysis of impacts from Massachusetts' ACA-like healthcare insurance law, enacted when Mitt Romney was governor. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, this study found that each 830 newly covered individuals resulted in one fewer death per year.
When we run that film backwards, we get one new death for each 830 people who lose coverage thanks to the GOP. A 2015 amicus brief in a US Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, made precisely this assertion.
So with confidence we can now tell Senator Death — uh, Cornyn — and his viper's nest of rightwing cronies including his Jesus-lovin’ fellow viper, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): "For every 830 people who lose their health coverage thanks to GOP tampering, one person who would otherwise live will surely die."
Think of it as a Republican lottery, a white elephant gift to our nation. Here’s how it works: statistically, people who lose their health coverage will be divided into groups of 830. Every year, one person in each 830-group will be randomly selected, and executed.
It could be you, your spouse, or the child you love.
This portrayal is not only accurate, it is inexorable. Inescapable. It’s what happens when people can’t get healthcare. And that’s not counting millions more people who are merely debilitated or bankrupted, instead of killed.
It brings to mind Shirley Jackson's classic short story, "The Lottery," which first appeared in the June 26, 1948 issue of The New Yorker. I hadn't read this story in a long time, but I did today. I felt afresh the shock and pointless cruelty it portrays.
Nearly 70 years later, in 2017, the GOP is about to resurrect "The Lottery" ten thousand times over — this time in real life.
And real death.
Let's tell that to the Senator and his cronies.