Day 186: Are We A Democracy Anymore?

Will the votes of our citizens be counted fairly and with transparency and integrity? That appears to be our last remaining vestige of democracy remaining.

A secret bill with no CBO score, no hearings, no public input and no concern for the millions upon millions of Americans that would lose their health insurance was opened for debate today. It turned out to be H.R. 1628, the bill that passed the House of Representatives by a single vote earlier this year.

This bill won’t be closed for debate or voted on in its current form in the Senate. That is fundamentally undemocratic. There are many demands from Senators for fewer cuts to Medicaid, full repeal and more money for fighting opioid addiction.

I wish there were words to describe the scale of a bunch of rich men voting to take away health care from millions of poor people. It’s just a few steps below state-sponsored genocide and slavery in terms of its morality, consciously choosing to have a debate about whether people should be able to live happy and healthy lives.

There should be no debate: In this day and age, when modern medicine is widely available, every single person in every single country should have access to health care as a human right. How can anyone look anyone else in the eye and tell them: “You shouldn’t be able to afford to treat your cancer. Your broken arm should bankrupt you. You should pay over half of your salary for health insurance.”

Courage in politics is rare. But I can confidently say that today it is essentially non-existant on the Republican side of the aisle and our democracy. And the victims of this erosion of democratic institutions will be the ones least able to fight back.

Let’s take the power back.

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