Democrats affirmed this report by chanting “hey hey hey goodbye” to Republicans after Obamacare repeal marginally passed in the House by a vote of 217 to 213 on May 4. This strategy is terrible for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it reveals that the Democratic Party is willing to sell out constituents just to receive some attack fodder.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently reaffirmed the Democratic establishment’s overwhelming attitude that Obamacare, which still leaves 28 million people uninsured, is sufficient, because it allows Democrats to attack Republicans for pushing its repeal.
Vice News correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro noted that Pelosi told him that single payer health care should be designated as a solution for states to provide on their own and that the political reality is that Congress isn’t ready for single payer health care. She claims that she has supported single payer since before McMorris-Santoro was born, a condescending response that bears no weight given she’s not willing to support it now. Pelosi has never fought for a single payer health care system. Her response is incredibly tone-deaf, especially given Americans’ increasing support for single payer health care.
A 2016 Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans favored replacing Obamacare with a federally funded health care system. The Washington Post reported in April 2017, “A recent survey from the Economist/YouGov found that a majority of Americans support ‘expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.’ Similarly, a poll from Morning Consult/Politico showed that a plurality of voters support ‘a single-payer health care system, where all Americans would get their health insurance from one government plan.’ ”
One of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ most popular policy proposals during his presidential campaign was his push for a single payer health care system, and his proposal’s popularity has increased since the presidential election. However, the Democratic Party has largely ignored voters’ calls.
Their failure to support a proposal that the majority of their base wants illuminates the growing disconnect between elected officials and their constituents and the massive influence of the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Americans want single payer health care, and the obstacles blocking them from the system they want are special interests, which are bought and paid for Democrats in office who avoid taking principled stances on issues. Democrats like Pelosi don’t stand for anything because fighting for something like single payer health care would upset the party’s wealthy donors.
Pelosi’s and other Democrats’ arguments excuse themselves from supporting progressive policies and reaffirm the Democratic Party as a corrupt entity tied to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. On May 1, the Washington Post reported a poll conducted in January among Trump voters who had previously voted for Obama. When those polled were asked what the Democratic Party stands for they gave responses like, “The 1 percent,” “The status quo” and “They’re for the party. Themselves and the party.” One woman, asked whether the Democratic Party is for people like her, flatly declared, “Nope.”
Excusing their actions by claiming pragmatism allows Democrats to keep their donors happy, preserve the status quo, and ignore their voters. The Democratic Party can’t rely on Trump’s unpopularity to shake off their reputation for not caring about working and middle class Americans.