Saturday, March 25, 2017

Paul Ryan and his failed wonkology

"Wonkology" is my term for ideology + buzzwords, and there's no bigger believer in it and its toxic detachment from everyday human reality than Wisconsin GOP Congressman and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Paul Ryan's official Speaker photo. In the background is the American Flag.
The Trumpcare plan sprung from the final iteration of Ryan's years-long war for upper-bracket tax breaks at the expense of lower-income Americans' longevity violated the first rule of both medical and political science:

Do no harm.

*  The Ryan/Trump health care 'Never Did Care' plan would have removed health insurance for 24 million Americans 

*  While taking away from millions and millions more citizens essential coverages for everything from maternity care to pediatric treatments to mental health services.

*  While raising deductibles and increasing premiums to enrich insurance firms, their CEOs, and high-end taxpayers whose payments into the system would plummet.

Yet Ryan, in "excited" thrall to Ayn Rand's 'you're-on-your-own' ideology and in service to wealthy GOP donors bloodlessly described his bill with means-to-ends talking points and coded partisan, political language as if no humans with life-and-death illnesses and care-giving obligations were actually involved:

This is, this is so much bigger by orders of magnitude than welfare reform, because let me just describe exactly what this bill does for conservatives. This is why I’m so excited about it, and this is why I think people need to see the forest through the trees. We are de-federalizing an entitlement, bloc granting it back to the states, and capping its growth rate. That’s never been done before. 
[Interviewer] Correct.
And then, we’re taking another entitlement, an open-ended subsidy with the health insurance that the government makes you buy, and repealing it and replacing it with Republican tax policy that we’ve been talking about for 20 years... 
It’s something that we as conservatives have always said if you really want to get free market principles injected into the health care system, you need to have an individual market where people care about what things cost, where people have real freedom, where those providers of health care services, be they insurers, doctors, or hospitals and everybody in between, compete against each other for our business based on value, based on price, based on quality, based on outcome. 
Words, words, and more words, with no relation to the adults and children he'd be kicking off Medicaid or pricing out of their doctor's offices in the name of "freedom."

His program, his words - - "de-federalizing an entitlement, bloc granting [sic] it back to the states...where those providers...compete against each other for our business based on value, prices..." is the soulless wonlology which drove everyday Americans to Congressional town hall meetings where they boiled it down to its essential "hell, no."

Too bad Ryan didn't hold one, or shut down his office phones, because he missed what regular folks understood that Ryan's glorious "de-federalizing an entitlement" would be mean their cancelled mammogram or their son's terminated opiod addition treatment or their grandkid's out-of-reach, live-saving pediatric care.

Ryan said "people need to see the forest through the trees."

They did.

And, and in the aftermath of your historic defeat, right back atcha.

1 comment:

Raven said...

"... with no relation to the adults and children he'd be kicking off Medicaid..."

I'd slightly rephrase that, to "knocking [them] off Medicaid" — with deliberate double-entendre in "knocking [them] off"....