Content Warning: Brief discussion of suicide.
According to The Hill, Hillary Clinton recently tweeted about how, if the GOP approves their recent healthcare bill, we can forget “death panels”. Instead, we should refer to the GOP as “the death party” given how many people will become uninsured, if it passes.
Besides The Death Party being the coolest name for a death metal album you’ve likely heard from a former Democratic presidential candidate, it’s also blatantly hypocritical.
There are many ways in which the Democrats have also sponsored death.
This sponsorship includes (but is not limited to) the recent years of drone bombing from former President Obama that easily outpace former Republican president George W. Bush.
And this isn’t counting the carnage that Hillary’s husband, Bill Clinton sponsored during his own presidency in the 1990s. Including a bombing on a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan that injured 11 civilians and killing one. It doesn’t include all of the people of color whose lives Bill Clinton disproportionately destroyed with his 1994 law on “three strikes”.
It doesn’t include all of the people who have been killed by a heavily militarized police that can’t be unilaterally blamed on Republicans. Many people of color, trans folks, mentally disadvantaged and other marginalized groups suffer disproportionate violence from police and civilians alike, yet receive little justice from administrations, Democratic or not.
That said, this hypocrisy isn’t without its validity. The bill that the GOP propose will likely kill people, but that’s nothing new in politics. Some have argued this point but it seems perfectly intuitive to me: Many people depend on Obamacare for their current healthcare; they need it for psychological and medical stability. Taking that away from people with no viable alternative is likely to increase the chance of depression and anxiety increasing.
Depression and anxiety is incredibly correlated with suicidal ideation and taking ones life. Speaking as a trans person, effectively not having my hormones, my therapist and my appointments at Planned Parenthood due to the increase in costs would hamper my general well-being. Specifically as a non-binary person it will not do as much harm to me as it would other trans folks who are more certain of their needs. But for those people, fearing for their lives, especially when they’re already being murdered, isn’t far-fetched.
And that’s who this repeal is the most likely to adversely affect: The disadvantaged.
The people who are already suffering so much under a system that categorically does not care about them and is now (intentionally or not) killing them through the already broken medical system. This sort of rhetoric would rightly be called “incendiary” and instead of seeing that as a negative that betrays “irrationality” or “hysteria” I see it as a call to action.
Not a call to keep relying on a broken system that has been killing us for centuries, but to work on building better alternatives. To encourage and propagate practices of mutual aid in our communities that do not rely on bureaucracies and the words of politicians.
Let me be clear, despite my agreement with Clinton, this article is not an ideological apology for a state-sponsored system of healthcare. It is not apologizing for a system that still leaves millions uninsured and the ones who are insured, at the mercy of state bureaucracy.
It is not a rallying cry for liberals to continue hoping that this system of governance, if it had the “right” regulators and regulations, will save them. It is a plea for the writing, building, creating and thinking about alternatives.
Alternatives, that, when done right, will give the marginalized much more access to healthcare than they’ve ever had under the boot of the state. Despite the modest improvements that Obamacare has given us, we can do better. Much better.
Let’s get to work tearing down this system of legitimized murder.