OK, first off, the Protestants aren’t going to be happy, especially those furthest to the right think neither Mormons nor Catholics are “real” Christians. There are some over there who don’t even think Methodists are real Christians.
Then there are the few moderates in the party who will bail out at the thought of a Tea Partier as VP.
And those on the far right likely are unhappy already because Mitt distanced himself from the Medicaid debacle.
We on the left are pretty pleased, of course, because the Ryan budget hasn’t been very popular and we can (and will) exploit what it would do to seniors, to people with disabilities and to people who happen to be both poor and sick.
And just as the Affordable Care Act is gaining some popularity among the millions of people it has helped already:
- 2.5 million young adults who are on their parents’ insurance policies,
- 5 million children with pre-existing conditions like asthma or a birth defect,
- 14 million seniors who received help with prescription drug costs or other aspects of the new law,
- 50,000 people with pre-existing conditions such as a history of heart disease or cancer,
- women who no longer have to pay out-of-pocket for cancer screenings or contraception.
I’ve actually heard the word, “Obamacare” spoken with some affection, and these two are smiling, waving and promising to repeal the whole thing.
Then there’s the Ryan tax plan what gives even more money to the wealthiest while increasing taxes on the working class. This “deficit hawk” has a budget that would increase the deficit while robbing the poorest Americans of everything.
While Romney and Ryan have been trying to paint everyone who’s poor as lazy or evil, many of us know people and families who would be devastated by cuts — people like Rebecca Demmer, whose two sons both have autism and need state services. Cuts in Medicaid would affect this innocent family by taking housing and work support away from them.
Medicaid rates are so low already that many service providers refuse to work in the system, making it difficult to find care for people who depend on Medicaid.
But those people don’t matter to someone who idolizes Ayn Rand, an author with a survival-of-the-fittest philosophy. Rand’s philosophy says that people who can’t “contribute” will not survive. Tell that to Rebecca Demmer, who loves her sons and will argue that they contribute greatly to the lives of the people around them.
Some of my Republican friends are worried about this choice. They see how it looks to moderates and progressives, and they know most unaffiliated voters are pretty middle-of-the-road, and those are the voters who will decide this election.
Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.