The cult leader of Greed’s Own Party recently proclaimed, “The Republican Party will soon be known as the “party of health care.”

         He spewed this nonsense while his Justice Department was asking the Supreme Court to declare the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional – which would remove 28 million Americans from health care coverage. Maybe health care seems irrelevant when you have self-healing bone spurs.

          You’ll remember that Republicans, with control of both houses, couldn’t legislatively change the ACA – and never presented the “replace” portion of its “repeal and replace” mantra.They’re trying the courts this time – and again with no proposal to protect Americans from sky-rocketing health care costs.

         In February, KOCO-TV reported that a woman who lost everything in a fire had her insurance company deny her claim to re-fill her prescriptions since such meds can only be re-filled at bean-counter set intervals. Republicans, of course, want to turn all of health care over to the marketplace where profits trump people.

          Later that month, Joan McCarter reported for the Daily Kos: “The powerful healthcare lobby is cranking itself back up, ready to fight every aspect of Medicare expansion Democrats might consider….

          “They’re organizing under the innocuous-sounding umbrella of Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, and are using the same arguments they’ve been using against substantive healthcare reform since the first Medicare bill in the middle of the last century: It’s going to cost too much and it will give bureaucrats control over health care. To which the entire nation of people who have health insurance says: It already costs too much, and insurance company bureaucrats are already in control.”

         Just last month, Think Progress, reported “Americans are dying because they can’t afford their insulin.” This was an echo of a Huffington Post story from February in which, “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is demanding to know why a pharmaceutical company has slapped a $375,000 list price on a drug that patients used to get for free.”

          “Sanders accused Patrick McEnany, president and CEO of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc., of “a blatant fleecing of American taxpayers” and “an immoral exploitation of patients who need this medication.”

          Sanders wondered, “how many patients will suffer or die” because they can’t afford the medication?

          Corporate socialism, where the government protects corporations and not real individuals, is great if you can hide your lack of conscience behind a corporate logo.

          This year’s Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index showed the U.S. had dropped from 34th to 35th place in the world. Spain and Italy are at the top of the list, with three Scandinavian countries in the top ten and Canada at 16.

          That tumble could continue, as CNBC reports that the president’s 2020 budget proposal “calls for reductions in funding for Medicare and Medicaid relative to current law. Over a decade, the plan would shave an estimated $800 billion or more off Medicare, which covers older Americans….It would also cut spending on Medicaid, the federal-state program that insures low-income Americans, by more than $200 billion while setting up block grants to states.”

          How reassuring. A block grant to Republican-run Oklahoma, which dropped from 43rd in 2017 to 47th last year in health among our 50 states and which continues to fund Medicaid expansion across the country while denying its own citizens those same chances for healthier lives.

          Calling Republicans “the party of health care” would be a joke – but lives are at stake.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: or

A sick joke; no one laughs

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