Here in South Carolina, we do seem to be doomed to continue to fight the Civil War. Since President Obama moved into the White House, this has taken the form of nullification laws, which basically say, "We don't want your dadgum gub'mint."
Remember those Tea Party town halls back in 2010 when the Affordable Care Act was just a bill? Those rousing town halls in which the most violent and irrational attacks were played and replayed to the benefit of that new group of radical right-wing nutcases? Where pro-bill senators were shouted down and wheelchair ridden proponents were told to just shut up? Here are a few moments from this glorious episode in our history:
Rather than being embarrassed, the Tea Party saw this as a glowing success story. And here in SC, legislators unable to pass nullification in spring of this year, have decided that town halls are the way to relive that glorious past, win that ole War against Northern Aggression, and defeat even scarier Tea Party challengers on the right.
Beaufort County Tea Partier Tom Davis is hosting nullification town halls throughout the state, hoping to relive those glory days and make life safe once again for... well, at least for Tom Davis.
Here in Charleston, the event will be held Wednesday, November 6, at 6 p.m., at the North Charleston City Hall.
This time could be different. For one thing, we know a few things we can get from the Affordable Care Act, and in fact have already benefited from. The big items include: no longer being disqualified due to real or fictitious pre-existing conditions, being able to keep a child on a family plan until age 26, and covered-with-no-co-pay preventive care, including birth control (which truly is preventive, folks).
In the true take-no-prisoners -- even if we have to shoot ourselves in the foot -- spirit of the confederacy, we've lately heard a bunch of myths, i.e. lies, and distortions about Obamacare, and I'd like to address that here.
1. There has been a lot of outrage by people whose health care plan has been dropped, or whose premiums have gone up, since the inception of the ACA. I don't know where y'all have been, but here in the US, being dropped from plans is not a whole new thing. And premiums going up? You really just woke up and realized your premium was going up? How do you think we got to be #1 in health care costs?
2. Those young people don't need health care; why should they be saddled with paying for everybody else? I've got more news for you. Not only are young people young, they are more likely to be more active, and yes, take more risks than us more mature folks. And do you have any idea what the cost of a simple broken leg is these days? So let's not pretend that young people have less need to insure their health than the rest of us. Statistically it may happen less, but in the real world it can certainly happen. And here's another news flash: responsible young adults are all too happy to have health insurance, because they understand the risk of being uninsured and the cost of health care.
3. Why should people pay this tax (excuse the four-letter word) for something they don't want? Okay, let's start with paying taxes for a bridge you aren't ever going to cross, and for all those business incentives that corporations claim they need to exist, and then we can end with the Iraq War. And all the government funded programs in between. That's what taxes are, and that's what they do. With a better Congress, we might be paying less for subsidies to big profitable corporations and more to build roads and schools. But that's another whole soapbox.
So when you go to that Town Hall on Wednesday, be sure to make those points, and all the other good ones you can think of. Things are different now, and we won't be shouted down.