Is Having Less Health Care Actually Good For Our Nation's Health? The AHCA Could Be A Win-Win

Tummy Sticks here. Like PFT said last week, I approached him a few months ago with some political takes after being rejected from CNN a couple dozen times when I applied to appear opposite Jeffrey Lord via Skype. Jeff Zucker’s loss is Barstool’s gain, and I will be providing you with the centrist takes you crave once a week during Tuesdays with Tummy Sticks. Follow me on Twitter @_tummysticks for your daily dose of political insight. Due to some unsubstantiated allegations and a very unfair legal process, I’m not technically supposed to be using the internet, so I’m currently writing under a pseudonym. Background on the name to come later.

The story of Obamacare begins in 2008. Riding the wave of increased youth turnout, as a result of the Rock the Vote movement, Barack Obama was elected President and Democrats increased their majorities in both houses of Congress. Obamacare was passed just one year later. True to Fox News’ predictions, this legislation ushered in death panels that determined whether elderly Americans would live or die. If you have a grandparent who died between 2010 and 2017, there is a good chance that Puff Daddy is directly responsible.


Responsible for the denial of thousands of gallbladder surgeries

This past Thursday, seven years after Obamacare was signed into law, House Republicans voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Although the bill will still need get through the Senate, this is the first official step towards realizing the lifelong goal of many Republicans, repealing Obamacare. For some, the vote was a joyous occasion. If you are the parent to an unemployed, 25 year old Oberlin graduate, you probably rejoiced at the news you would no longer have to carry your son and his entire Bright Eyes cover band on your insurance. For others who opposed the bill, the vote was a crushing defeat. After months of protest and forcing their representatives to forgo 26 weeks of hard-earned vacation to attend town halls and do interviews with Wolf Blitzer, the bill still passed in a 216-212 vote.


Sounds nothing like Conor Oberst, also not covered under AHCA

While liberals may not have gotten what they wanted with the AHCA vote, one could say they got something even more important: a lesson in democracy. In 2015, 84% of 18-35 year old men not represented by Tulsi Gabbard could not even identify a photo of their representative. In Texas, 23% of residents believed that they were represented in the Senate by Grayson Allen. But now? Americans, liberals especially, are more politically engaged than ever. Millennials, who were more likely than any generation to skip high school civics to attend rainbow parties and do jenkem with their friends, were petitioning their representatives and getting their first real world lesson in civic engagement. Is that not something to celebrate?


Tulsi, sup?

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(Most Texans do not know which one of these is their Senator)

Let’s be clear, politically, this was a victory for conservatives. After months of political defeats and the left-wing pundit class .@ing Trump and clogging his mentions, the President finally had a major win to celebrate. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus praised Trump for “punting this one into the end-zone.” (For what it’s worth, this is a pretty transparent attempt to hold on to swing voters in the Philadelphia suburbs by comparing the President’s actions to the Eagles’ special teams) Obamacare repeal is certain to play well with the Trump base in midterm elections in 2018. The coal miners and asbestos farmers of Middle America have finally gotten the Medicaid cuts that they have been dreaming of since they were drinking Schlitz from the bottle in high school.


Donnie Jones’ touchbacks inspired President Trump to shake up American healthcare

The win was not an easy one for Trump and House Republicans. The initial iteration failed to come to a vote after moderate Republicans were scared it took healthcare away from too many people, and the Freedom Caucus was angry that it did not take healthcare away from enough people. For some Republicans, the decision was more personal. Missouri Representative Billy Long flip-flopped numerous times on the bill, under concerns it would affect his own pre-existing conditions*. Long’s vote was eventually secured with a promise from the President to expand In n Out east of the Mississippi River, with Surge as a fountain drink option. Trump is, if nothing else, a deal-maker.


*Editor’s note: Not confirmed if he actually has any pre-existing conditions, but, come on, safe guess

Liberals have taken to the streets to protest the fact that their current coverage will likely be replaced with Gary Vaynerchuk motivational videos. While it’s clear that they do not realize the important lesson in civic engagement they just received, they are also overlooking some key positives of the bill. Does this legislation cut hundreds of billions of healthcare funding for low income Americans in order to provide massive tax breaks for the ultra-rich? Yes. But if liberals would take five seconds to read Atlas Shrugged, they would realize this is actually a good thing. Anyone who has ever used a toilet can tell you that private is better than public. No one knows this resident Barstool diarrhea expert Uncle Chaps.

Rosie O’Donnell can complain that the bill shows a lack of compassion for the poor, but answer this question: If Republicans are so heartless, then tell me why former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has personally volunteered to look after any children who lose coverage as a result of the AHCA? It truly takes a village.

Any objective analysis of the situation reveals that the outcome was a win-win for conservatives and liberals alike. Conservatives got the bill that Paul Ryan wanted, and liberals got an exercise in democracy that would make Kendall Jenner proud. The only real loser here, unfortunately, is bipartisanship. The 216-212 vote was decided almost entirely by political affiliation, with 20 Republicans voting nay. It is a sad day in America when almost every issue is decided on whether there is a D or an R next to someone’s name. Every time a vote happens along party lines, an angel loses its wings (the language in the bill is unclear as to whether this counts as a pre-existing condition). While the death of those who might lose coverage is sad, it is the death of bipartisanship that is truly tragic.