|Ted Cruz: Scumbag|
Once House Republicans refused to pass a spending bill on Monday night, the N.I.H. had to stop enrolling new cancer patients in clinical trials, among them some thirty children. This was such an indictment of the shutdown that the G.O.P. had suggested a micro-appropriation—part of a “piecemeal” funding tactic to keep anger at bay. Reid, talking to reporters, called it cherry-picking and said that he wanted the whole bill, sticking to that after Dana Bash, of CNN, asked why he wouldn’t help just one child with cancer if he could. If you listen to the exchange, something Reid then says—“Why would we want to do that?”—clearly refers to the pitting of different people hurt by the shutdown against each other. But he did give Fox a line, if one dependent on the idea that Reid would think that caring for children was an alien concept. “Pretty sick,” Hannity said, as Cruz tried to look sad. Also, “cold, callous, heartless, mean-spirited, hateful.” Guest after guest was outraged.
So many Republicans consumed by the idea that politicians ought to make sure that sick children get the care they need—one might call that novel. Do they plan to live out that conviction? The G.O.P. has shut down the government because it considers a law that will make health insurance far easier to get for the forty-eight million Americans who don’t have it—including millions of children, many of them sick—a threat to America. Will this talk of children with cancer lead them to read the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and, for once, think about what the law means for real people?
Being very ill in America without insurance is a disaster for anyone. You can easily be left bankrupt, even if you’re cured. Obamacare also addressed the particular ways getting sick could be terrible for children, even those with insurance. First, the law ended lifetime maximums, the catch by which insurance companies could decide that after they’d spent a certain amount they could walk away from a patient. Small children with cancer could, and often did, reach those limits before they’d made it through preschool. Next, provisions in Obamacare mean that these children won’t be kept from getting affordable (or any) insurance because of “preëxisting conditions.” They can also stay on their parents’ health-insurance policies until they are twenty-six. And they are precisely the sort of young people who ought to: they need check-ups to be sure that there isn’t a recurrence of cancer. And their health struggles may have made it harder for them to jump into the job market, or just to sleep at night with the illusion that a twenty-something who doesn’t have insurance is just making a rational bet—being sensible and free.
And they remain in power because we are a nation of ignoramuses and idiots, as Jimmy Kimmel - of all people - demonstrates.