Yesterday the house voted on the newest version of the American Health Care Act, but unlike prior attempts, this time, they had the votes. The GOP was so pumped to pass the bill, (a bill that, it should be noted, removes pre-existing condition protections and essential health benefits coverage which mean if you were ever, or are at some point sexually assaulted, or overly anxious or depressed, or you have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or cancer, or lupus, or asthma, or diabetes, or Crohn’s, or cerebral palsy, or Parkinson’s, or most other chronic health issues, or you’re pregnant, you very well may see your premiums propel through the stratosphere. The bill will also succeed in making healthcare unaffordable for massive swaths of Americans while decreasing mental health coverage, maternity coverage, rehab services, and pediatric care to name only a few. Oh, and the last estimate stated the bill will leave an estimated 24 million more people uninsured before the close of the decade).
Heroes really, the lot of them. Fists-in-the-sky, grit-dusted warriors who sip daily from cocktails of blood, sweat and tears.
These mostly out of shape old white men believe that the legislative verve they displayed over the last month is Rocky-esque.
Whipping votes for a bill this terrible is not too dissimilar to punching meat, or racing Apollo Creed on a beach, or going roundhouse-for-roundhouse with Ivan Drago I suppose.
But here’s the thing, Rocky, although fictional, is a 71-year-old man battling cancer.
Under the American Health Care Act, Rocky would be screwed.
According to data from the Center for American Progress, individuals with metastatic cancer could have premium surcharges around $142,650.
The Italian Stallion ain’t got that kinda loot. Adrian’s restaurant seems to be doing well, sure, and Adonis Creed’s career is undoubtedly on the rise, but he won’t reach his prime earning potential for a few years yet, and while he certainly owes Rock quite a bit, dropping six figures is a lot to ask. I’m sure Adonis would offer, but Rock wouldn’t accept. The old lug has too much pride; it would be a whole thing. And we’re getting off track.
The point is the Republicans used the theme song of a Philly-bred, working-class boxing hero as they were pushing through legislation that would leave said hero hundreds of thousands in debt, or dead in the street—if he were a real person. And make no mistake, this bill will do that for millions of real people.
Perhaps the GOP were using the song as a funeral march for the old champ, as they signed his potential death warrant.
by Jesse Mechanic
Jesse Mechanic is the editor in chief of The Overgrown.