Is opposition to Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, a form of racism?
US Senator Jay Rockefeller seems to think so.
The West Virginia Democrat made that allegation at the end of a Senate Commerce Committee hearing yesterday.
Rockefeller, 76, the committee chair, is not running for reelection this year, and the expectation is that the open Senate seat will be won in November by GOP standard-bearer Shelly Moore Capito, a popular long-time House member.
Claimed Rockefeller shortly before the hearing adjourned:
“…I’ll be able to dig up some emails that make part of the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t look good — especially from people who made up their mind that they don’t want it to work because they don’t like the president. Maybe he’s of the wrong color, something of that sort. I’ve seen a lot of that and I know a lot of that to be true. It’s not something you’re meant to talk about in public but it’s something I’m talking about in public because that is very true…”
US Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), the only lawmaker in the hearing room when Rockefeller brought up the racism allegation, wasn’t buying it. Said Johnson, “It was regrettable and I would say it was offensive, seeing as how I’m the only one in the room here really talking about opposition, that you would play the race card, that you would say opposition to Obamacare necessarily must stream from, inert, inherent racism — very offensive… So, no, I didn’t object to [Obamacare] because of the race of the president. I objected to this because it is an assault on our freedom. Mr. Chairman, I have to admit I have a great deal of respect for you and I’m the only one in the room and I found it very offensive that you would basically imply that I’m a racist because I opposed this law.”
If Rockefeller’s logic holds, would it be also fair to say that all the liberals and Democrats in politics, entertainment, and journalism who bashed President George W. Bush unmercifully for eight years were racist against a Caucasian?
Separately, more Obamacare premium hikes on are the horizon: “Democrats are bracing for grim headlines that could put the unpopular law back at the forefront of voters’ minds. Premiums are expected to go up in a majority of states, as they do every year, but the size of the increases could go a long way toward determining how much political damage Obamacare inflicts on vulnerable Democratic lawmakers.”
Apart from the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov (and similar glitches with state-level insurance marketplaces or exchanges) under Obamacare, millions of Americans have already seen their plans cancelled, have been locked out of existing provider networks, and forced to pay much higher premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. Based on the added premium costs and other factors, more businesses may be tempted to push their workers into healthcare exchanges and eliminate workplace-based insurance coverage entirely. The scandal currently engulfing the Veterans hospitals may give America a preview of how a government-run healthcare system would affect everyone else.
US Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn, a Georgia Democrat, wouldn’t even answer a simple question as to whether she would have voted for Obamacare if she had been in office when the law was jammed through Congress on a straight party-line vote. She did say that she opposes any repeal efforts, however.
A recent opinion poll suggested that public support for Obamacare dropped to just 26 percent. Do you think that the Obamacare racism charge has any merit?