Gotta say. . .
At left: Extreme-right US Rep. Ted Poe and his wildly gerrymandered TX-02 Congressional district.
At right: Remarkably similar shape of the original 1812 district that gave "gerrymandering" its name and reputation for blatant electoral corruption.
Ted Poe — extreme-right US Representative from the grotesquely gerrymandered Texas 2nd Congressional District, where I live — resigned today (3/26/17) from the so-called "House Freedom Caucus" because caucus members want to mass-murder more Americans than he does.
Rep. Poe insists on killing only 29,000 people annually by taking away their healthcare insurance. A study in the peer-reviewed Annals of Internal Medicine reveals that on average, for every 830 people who lose coverage, one will die each year.
The Congressional Budget Office on 3/13/17 announced that the GOP's repeal-and-replace law would mean 24 million fewer people would have healthcare coverage by 2026.
The numbers are relentless: 24 million people divided by 830 means 29,000 randomly chosen men, women and children would die each year, just from losing access to healthcare under the GOP's now-failed plan — a ghoulish lottery.
Yet Ted Poe is so gung-ho for mass-murdering these random 29,000 Americans — more than a quarter million people each decade — he quit the Freedom Caucus because its members opposed the plan. They want to repeal the ACA with no replacement. Their opposition helped kill the GOP law's chance of passage in the House.
The year ACA began, 2010, 49.9 million people in the US had no healthcare insurance. Today that number is down to about 29 million, still unconscionable and why we need the universal healthcare that neither Dems nor the GOP have offered.
Bernie Sanders, still America’s most popular politician, pushes hard for universal healthcare as a human right.
Back to the ghouls who rule. If the Congressional Freedom-to-Die Caucus got their way and the ACA were simply repealed, it would turn back the clock to 2010. Some 20 million additional Americans would lose healthcare coverage. Because of population growth, a total of well over 50 million people would then lack coverage today and even more by 2026.
The CBO performed its count differently, so it ended up with more body bags than we mention here. But that's beside the point. How many grieving, devastated families do we need to prove a point? From Ted Poe’s standpoint or that of the Freedom Caucus, the answer’s easy: hundreds of thousands.
One more thing.
As our illustration shows (top), Ghoul of the Week Ted Poe clings to power partly because the corrupt, GOP-dominated Texas state government handed him twisted territory: a wildly distorted Congressional district that gives Poe the “right” electoral demographics to stay in office.
That is why TX-02 closely resembles the original 1812 electoral district that gave gerrymandering its name and well-earned corrupt reputation. It makes a mockery of fair elections and true democracy.
Along with widespread voter suppression, it’s how We the People end up with ghouls like Poe in public office. But we still have a choice. With enough hard work, we can VOTE THEM OUT.
Now that’s “pro-choice”!
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.