GOP attacks on Obamacare will accelerate move to Medicare for All, Single Payer
A Chinese proverb comes to mind — “He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself.” Ed Schultz asked Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) whether the Republican bill to redefine full time work in the eyes of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to a 40 hour week would have a severe impact. McDermott’s answer was thoughtful and reflected what many feel will be Obamacare’s ultimate great outcome.
“Well I think if you take in the big picture Ed,” Jim McDermott said. “This is in the long term good for us. Because they are driving us towards single payer. Employers are trying to get out of participating in the employer mandate. They don’t want to provide for their employees if they can get out of it. So they are all playing all sorts of games. And ultimately this 40 hour week thing means everybody — people are working 38 hours or 35 hours — they are not going to have to offer them health insurance either. They will come in to the subsidized exchanges and be a part of the federal system. I think we are moving to a system where business is trying to offload their responsibility for the health of their workers.”
Ed Schultz responded that companies are racing to the bottom for taking advantage of Obamacare in some states even as they attempt to stymie their responsibilities under Obamacare.
Jim McDermott then got to the core of the issue. “I really think that the whole question here of whether we are going to have forty hour weeks is whether the employers want to give health insurance to their workers or not. In my view they don’t,” McDermott said. “We are talking about middle-class folks who are working 24 hours a week in two different jobs to hold on to their house and their family and their education. They are struggling like mad. And we are not getting any help from the Republicans.”
That last sentence from Rep. McDermott is important. When you hear many falsely criticize Obamacare for creating a part time economy or that the Obama job market is full of the underemployed, remember that last statement. Irresponsible employers are using plutocracy inspired government regulations to tailor the workforce to minimize the benefits corporations must give to their employees. It is a dereliction of civics and citizenship. It is for this reason government, “we the people” must force politicians with the power of our vote, not the power of not voting, to effect middle-class centric policies. Single payer health care, Medicare for all is just a start.