WASHINGTON – After a lengthy all day and all night session, the House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines to approve Paul Ryan’s healthcare fumble, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The bill would shut millions of Americans out of the health insurance market entirely, offering especially severe price hikes to those of modest means who live in rural areas and older Americans who do not yet qualify for Medicare.
It also explicitly discourages participation by younger and healthier Americans by imposing a stiff, yearlong premium penalty on them should they want to join the insurance pool after more than 60 days without coverage. Analysts have described the proposal as “a recipe for death spirals” that could prevent insurers from offering policies outside of group plans at all.
Ryan celebrated this first early test of his new vision of America with reporters outside the House chamber at first light.
“Today, the GOP is finally starting to live up to its promise to clear away the debris that decades of decadent liberalism have bequeathed. Our country is overrun with undesirables who lack the skills and intelligence to succeed in the America we are building, and we are creating policies that will, through attrition, finally empower America to rise beyond them,” the Speaker said.
Reporters hastily shouted questions, and Ryan appeared to be responding to a query about how many Americans would lose coverage under his plan when he said, “Who the fuck cares? Seriously. Who the fuck cares? You guys are all, ‘oh noes, millions will lose coverage and tens of thousands will die,’ because you can’t see the big picture. You don’t get the vision. You are weak. If I could take your health insurance away, and the health insurance of your children, I would. I probably am for some of you. That’s the point. America doesn’t need the weak, and we will prosper in your absence.”
When a reporter shouted that the law’s negative impacts would disproportionately fall on the GOP’s base of rural whites, Ryan nodded. “Americans, in general, are smart and resilient. It is my belief that most of the people you’re talking about will be fine. They’re tough, they’re clever, they’ll figure it out, and they’ll be better for it, too. Nothing builds character more than overcoming a challenge. In that sense, AHCA will provide the most help to the people it hurts the most.”
As reporters shouted questions like, “But what if cancer kills them before they overcome the challenge?” and, “Are you just a total fucking Nazi?” Ryan waved to the group, smiling. “Thank you everyone. Remember, as a great man once said, ‘Life doesn’t forgive weakness.'”
The “great man,” it turns out, was Adolph Hitler.