By now, everyone has seen the monstrosity that is the GOP Senate’s so-called healthcare bill. At its core, it really is just a huge tax cut for the rich at the expense of the healthcare of poor, elderly, sick, and disabled Americans. We have all watched how disabled members of ADAPT, a decades-old disability rights organization that is largely responsible for the modern day Americans With Disabilities Act, were dragged bodily from their wheelchairs and other medical devices from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office, all for exercising their First Amendment rights to protest the inhumane stripping of their life-saving care.
We’ve been talking about the political price of all of this for years. The GOP is in power, and they are determined to do what they have been wanting to do for the last seven years, which is take the healthcare President Barack Obama gave the nation away. They want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. However, what we haven’t been talking about is the real effects of all of this on real people.
Mike Phillips appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, with Ari Melber sitting in for Lawrence, on Friday night. Mike had a pre-typed statement; you see, he cannot move or speak, but he can move his fingers long enough to communicate via a computer. It takes a very long time, though, and thus his statement was pre-written. His mother, Karen, takes care of him full time. He also has a personal caregiver. Many of these services are provided through Medicaid, which the cruel GOP
massive tax cut for rich people healthcare bill cuts.
If this bill becomes law, Mike and those like him and others living with all kinds of disabilities will be relegated to substandard nursing homes or institutions. Mike’s mother explained that there is no facility in Florida, where they live, that is equipped to deal with Mike’s needs. Therefore, not only would Mike be ripped from his home and loved ones, he’d have to be shipped away to some institution for people with severe disabilities in another state, where his family would either have to relocate, or he’d be surrounded by strangers, completely helpless and unable to speak out if he is being neglected or mistreated.
One might ask the same question, Karen, Mike’s mother asks in the video you are about to watch – how could this country treat its citizens this way? How could they harm and drag people from wheelchairs for standing up for their rights? How can they take healthcare from the most vulnerable among us?
I’ll tell you how. It’s because Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell exist and they are in charge, that’s how. Paul Ryan admitted that he has been dreaming of ripping Medicaid to shreds since he was at college keggers, despite the fact that he used Social Security to get through college after his father died. He might have a pathological hatred of social programs now, but he wouldn’t be where he is today without them. Mitch McConnell had polio as a child and grew up dirt poor. While he didn’t get government care, he still recovered due to the kindness of strangers at a facility built by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In other words, without help, McConnell would be poor, disabled, and likely in some kind of facility. However, thanks to this outside help. he somehow “made it,” and has spent his entire career outrunning his past as a poor kid with a disability. He’s still running, as his number one mission in life is to deny the type of kind, compassionate care he received in his hour of need to those in similar situations today. These two men don’t care who they hurt along the way – they just want to prove that who they are now has nothing to do with how they grew up.
In other words, the two most powerful men in America are also the most dangerous to the most vulnerable Americans. They are out to prove that folks who didn’t or couldn’t “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” or those who they believe are not properly contributing don’t deserve to live and eat like the rest of us.
Think the GOP isn’t heartless? Watch the video below for your proof. Thank you, Mike and Karen, for sharing your story. Without further ado, here you are:
Featured image via video screen capture