Huffpost Politics
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jon Hotchkiss Headshot

Ted Cruz's Psychotic Obsession

Posted: Updated:
Print

Although I am not a medical professional, both my father and sister are doctors. I also watched a lot of MASH growing up, as well. So, I like to think of myself as a Doctor by Osmosis. It is with these iron-clad credentials that I am prepared to diagnose Ted Cruz, the Tea Party, the Congressional Republicans & Fox News. They are all suffering from a psychotic obsession with the Affordable Health Care Act.

Why "psychotic?" According to Webster's online dictionary, "psychotic" means "to believe things that are not true."

Plus, Cruz's unreasonable, illogical and pathological obsession with overturning the Affordable Health Care Act reminds me a lot of John Hinkley's unreasonable, pathological, illogical obsession for Jodie Foster, albeit, with one tiny difference. Ms. Foster was considerably more likely to have been smitten with Hinkely for his clumsy attempt to woo her by assassinating the President, than it is for the Republicans in congress to overturn the President's signature piece of legislation.

Anyway:

As best as I can tell, the reason Cruz, et al hate the Affordable Health Care Act is because it forces people to buy health care insurance they may not want or need or be able to afford.

Here now, a few questions:

  • How is the Affordable Health Care Act any different from requiring drivers to have car insurance? Most people pay their premiums and never have an accident. Women drivers, who have statistically fewer accidents, end up subsidizing the accidents caused by men.
  • Now, some would say its actually more analagous to forcing people who don't own cars to buy insurance. Which would be nuts, right? Except, everyone pays federal income tax, a portion of which goes to fund interstate highways. You don't get a rebate if you don't own a car.

  • State governments still insist that people pay their property taxes even if they don't have kids who go to public school, or use the libraries, which property taxes fund. When the elderly, the single and the parents whose kids have grown up underwrite the cost of education and books for their neighbors and their kids, how is this different from the Affordable Health Care Act?
  • Some would say this is a state matter, not a federal one, so that makes it different... and thus, bad. But does it? Really, what the naysayers have pointed out is a distinction without a difference.

  • We all pay state income taxes - a portion of which goes toward paying the fire, police and ambulance services, among many others. During the odd year that I don't spontaneously combust, get robbed and need CPR, I don't get a rebate for not using fire, police and EMT services.
  • Again, some would say this is a state tax matter, not a federal one, so that makes it different... and thus, bad. Again, I say, a distinction without a difference.

  • Every time a driver puts gas in their car, they pay a state tax. Where I live in California, it's 40 cents per gallon. Suppose you're one of those drivers who only uses surface streets? Do you get a rebate for NOT using the 405 / 101?

See above for my response.

And this from Michelle Malkin:

The health law's age-related rate restriction milks the hard-earned income of young people--those just starting out in life--for the sake of those older, sacrificing in the process a young person's own goals and dreams. If they were honest, supporters of the law would admit this openly, instead of adding insult to injury by calling their immoral scheme a benefit to the young.

Ms. Malkin, it appears, from her argument, has never bought any type of insurance for anything. Ever. And doesn't understand how insurance works. Plus, at some point, Ms. Malkin will collect social security and will collect more money than she paid in which will milk the hard earned income of young people - those just starting out in life - for the sake of those older. And more hypocritical.

On October 1st of 2013, it's expected that 50% of the 48 million Americans who do not have health insurance will be able to buy it because the insurance companies will not be permitted to deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition. This is fantastic news! I defy Ted Cruz, et al to make a cohesive argument that denies this monumental achievement.

Oh, and while you're trying to defy this monumental achievement, perhaps you could very specifically articulate your plan to provide health care coverage to those who don't have. In your 21 plus hour speech on the Senate floor, your proposal to provide health care was and this is a quote: "We ought to reform the markets to deal with that problem."

Ted Cruz clearly knows the most important rule of politics: "It's easier to curse the dark than light a candle."

Now, there are stories going around that employers are firing employees, instituting hiring freezes and cutting back full time employees to part time, because health care costs have risen. You might find a few, sure. But not very many. Why? Most companies recognize the cost benefits of providing health benefits to employees. It's a way to entice them to stay in their position PLUS paying for health insurance is cheaper than giving raises. Health insurance payments are taxed at a lower rate.

My point? Shut up Ted Cruz. Shut up Congress. Shut up Tea Party. Shut up Fox News.

The President promised if he was elected, he'd fight for the Affordable Health Care Act. He ran against a guy who said he'd vote against it. The president won. The people have spoken. The Supreme Court has spoken. Congress has spoken, despite 41 attempts to overturn the legislation.

Finally, lets all meet back here in one year. And if the Affordable Health Care Act is a disaster, we'll know it by then. And if it is, I will apologize for being wrong. And if it's a success... ah, who am I kidding, there's no way Ted Cruz et al, will ever admit its success.

Jon Hotchkiss is the creator of the new 6-hour science series, This vs That. Please follow him on Twitter so he can stay in touch. Thanks.