Chris Hayes opened his show with an editorial tonight and I’m right there with him. I’m sick to death of the media coverage comparing the rollout of the Affordable Care Act to Katrina. I’ve had it with the Republicans doing everything in their power to do real damage to real people’s lives with their sabotage and obstruction and like Hayes, I’m fed up with these weak kneed Democrats thinking that they can distance themselves from the law politically if they wanted to.
As Hayes noted during the opening to his rant, Media Matters had a very simple rebuttal to the talking point about Obamacare vs. Hurricane Katrina. Here’s some of the rest and it was definitely a breath of fresh air from what has dominated the better part of his own network’s broadcast time.
HAYES: If you’re anything like me, you’ve watched the last several weeks unfold with a potent mix of rage, frustration and exasperation and I will confess, as I’ve followed the coverage and immersed myself in the stories, here in the studio every day, I find myself pissed off at just about everyone.
I’m angry at a White House that failed to properly implement the single most important law they’ve ever passed, or that anyone has passed in a generation, that handed their ideological and political enemies ammunition, which they are now gleefully firing off at anything that moves, including, stalwart progressive allies and politicians who backed the White House and vouched for the law with voters.
For those of us on the single-payer left, the entire spectacle is particularly maddening, since many of us spent years noting the drawbacks, complexities and Rube Goldbergian nature of the entire Romneycare mandate and subsidies model. Those of us who worried that without a public option, insurance companies would use the law to manipulate and panic consumers. Those of us who worried about that, but ultimately embraced, celebrated and rejoiced at that ACA as a massive step forward on the long march for justice.
I’m also angry at a mainstream media, that due to a combination of gullibility, privilege and sloppiness has managed to elevate the story of a very small sliver of the health insurance market into a national panic, while largely allowing the names and faces and fates of the millions of poor people who will be denied health care by Republican governors to remain anonymous and untold.
But most of all, I’m quite simply appalled as I watch a Republican party and a conservative movement not even pretend to hide their glee, and schadenfreude over problems with the law they have done everything in their power to sabotage, destroy and discredit.
Hayes went on to take Jonah Goldberg to the woodshed along with other conservatives who are talking about what “great news” it is that people are going to be denied access to health care. Hayes final criticism was for the wobbly Democrats who are trying to back away from the law and he wrapped things up with this reminder for all of them.
HAYES: There is no separating yourself from this law. That goes for all of us on the left. If you think the ACA can go down and leave you unscathed, you are sorely mistaken. We are all in the same boat. […]
Health care is something every single person uses and every time, in every country a society has decided to reform the delivery of it, it has been done against the kicking and screaming and sabotage and backlash and rage of entrenched interest and reactionaries.
There is a reason almost a centuries’ worth of presidents and congresses tried and failed to pass health care reform. There is a reason passing and maintaining the Affordable Care Act has been so arduous; because it is the most ambitious piece of social legislation in this country in a generation.
And so amidst the deserved criticisms and bad press and the undeserved hysteria and shameful gloating, one thing is clear.
The only path left for those of us left committed to the goal of health care for all is forward. No retreat. No surrender. No going back. The only way out is through.
This won’t be the last battle. Others will come and there will be more after that and there’s never, ever going to be some calm final equilibrium where everything works and no one’s trying to take health care away.
There is only struggle today, tomorrow, forever, because nothing worth doing ever came without it.