Letter: Trump, Ryan only view health care as luxury

From: Steve Schoettmer


President Trump is once again trying to dismantle our health care system. He is trying to cut it by $900 billion so that he can pass that savings on to his ultra-rich supporters. It is the same game plan that Reagan and Bush had: cut funding for services so that they can give those tax dollars back to the rich.

When George Bush cut taxes, he threw away Clinton’s balanced budget and gave $7 trillion in tax cuts to the rich.

When funding for services dry up, they eventually collapse from their own weight. It is like ringing a tree. If you cut the bark off a tree all the way around, it will die and eventually fall. Politicians cut funding so that programs will die many years after they have left office. That way they don’t have to take the blame for killing it.

Now, however, after having cut so deeply before, there is simply only so much left that they can take from us. They are left with trying to dismantle the Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security systems we have all grown to love.

It is not so much that Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan are trying to “fix” it. They simply are trying to rip away the protections of the Affordable Care Act (such as protection for pre-existing conditions, prescription drug coverage, hospital care, etc.), and dismantling Medicare and Medicaid.

This last time they wanted to send Medicaid back to the states, permanently eliminating it as a federally guaranteed program. Think about that for a second. If you live in a blue state, say New York or California, you would probably get decent coverage. But what if you live in a red state like Indiana? Well, they would cut corners, they would make it harder for you to get, and even harder for you to use. It is not because they are mean or cruel; it is simply because they see all that stuff as a handout.

Good old American workers are always seen as taking. We are making too much or needing too much. We are expected to run our route, make our part, serve that meal and then shut up. They tell us stories to make us think it is the immigrant that is hurting us, or somehow the tax system is stopping us, but it is none of that. It is them.

They don’t see our health care, or Medicaid or Medicare as rights, but as luxuries. To put it more bluntly, they don’t see these services as privileges that we deserve.