Thirteen Angry Men

American healthcare is being transformed in secret. The details of the bill were released this morning. Some analysis is starting to roll in. Who is writing this bill that affects so many? Who is crafting this thing that will transform both the financial well-being of the nation and the actual well-being of its people?

Thirteen people.

Thirteen Republicans.

Thirteen men.

Thirteen white men. (I know Ted Cruz’s family is Cuban. He’s also of European ancestry and proclaims it proudly)

I know we don’t live in a democracy. I know my one vote doesn’t count the same as one vote in Ohio. I know that we don’t govern by poll. But is this even representative? Does this group actually represent America?

Every state has two Congress people. (My congresspeople, Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, each represent half of the people of Illinois. That’s six and a half million people each.) The men crafting this legislation represent half of Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Tennessee. They also represent all of Texas, Utah and Wyoming. That’s less than 54 million Americans. Our healthcare is being overhauled by people who represent only 1 in 6 Americans.

So we know they don’t represent us. Do they even look like us?

  • They’re men. (49.2% of America)
  • They’re white. (61.3% of America)
  • They’re an average of 60-years-old. (15.2% of America)
  • They’re Christian. (70.6% of America)
  • They have an average worth of $2.2MM. (Less than 0.5% of America)

So if you grabbed every American and stuffed them in a room without their wallets, you’d have more than 323 million people. These thirteen would represent 10 million of them. That’s the size of North Carolina.

If they kept their wallets, these rich thirteen would represent Palo Alto, California. That’s 59,000 people. That’s smaller than the shitty suburb I live in.

Saying “our healthcare” feels too broad. It’s too antiseptic. It’s too vague.

Thirteen rich, conservative white men who represent a constituency the size of California’s 135th largest city are deciding who deserves to be treated with basic decency. They’re deciding who gets to lay their head at night with the security of knowing they and their loved ones can be taken to a hospital if necessary. They’re deciding who gets to access life-saving medications. They’re deciding who gets to live and who gets to die.

And they don’t care about me. And they don’t care about you. They care about the 59,000 people who look, think, worship, live and earn the same that they do. And those people don’t need to worry about how to pay for a medical emergency. They just want a tax cut.  This bill, taking $800MM from poor people, delivers it.

Make America Great, right?

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