Tomi Lahren and Chelsea Handler recently got together for a political debate for some reason, and the result was predictably devoid of substance. Handler spent most of the evening bashing Donald Trump, while Lahren countered by defending Donald Trump, and the two went back and forth without saying much of anything worth hearing for their entire time on stage.
One part of the exchange has been making some headlines, however. At one point, during a back-and-forth over the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it has come to be known, Lahren admitted that she benefits from one of its key provisions. According to Daily Beast, the 24-year-old Tomi Lahren is still on her parents’ health insurance plan, despite being adamantly opposed to the law that allows her that privilege, one which was not afforded to people her age prior to the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. This elicited boos from the audience, many of whom were clearly disgusted by her blatant hypocrisy.
Tomi Lahren, who declares herself a “pro-America” conservative, which is a thinly veiled way of saying you’re anti-American if you’re not conservative, calls the Affordable Care Act “socialized medicine,” even though it’s not. The Affordable Care Act is an example of a regulated insurance market, but it’s not even remotely “socialist.” She also used rhetoric straight from Donald Trump, describing the ACA as being in the midst of a “death spiral.” Handler, to her credit, correctly pointed out that the health care law is being sabotaged by the president.
“It’s in a death spiral being sabotaged by the president of the United States,” Handler said. “A decent human being would say: let’s do whatever we can to make the system that’s in place thrive.”
The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, but the Republican goal that Tomi Lahren so ardently supports is a step in the wrong direction. We should be expanding on and improving the ACA, with the goal being a single payer system that guarantees health care coverage to all Americans. The fact that Lahren benefits from the law that she opposes is a clear example of her own hypocrisy, but she is certainly not alone. According to the Los Angeles Times, 68 of the 70 counties that would suffer the most loss in federal health insurance subsidies if the Affordable Care Act is repealed voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. In those counties, and across the United States, the people who would suffer the most are older, low-income people living in rural areas, a demographic that overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump in 2016. Whether this is an example of hypocrisy or straight ignorance is a more complicated question, but the results are the same: people oppose a law that benefits them.
The United States has one of the most costly and inefficient health care systems among developed nations in the world. According to Business Insider, countries that rank at the top all have some form of a socialized health care system in place. The Affordable Care Act was an attempt to regulate a grossly for-profit insurance market to cover more things for more people while still allowing insurance executives to continue to make obscene salaries and company shareholders to continue to reap obscene rewards for doing not much of anything but being middlemen collecting tolls at the gates that separate people and their medical care.
People like Tomi Lahren and many Donald Trump supporters decry “socialized medicine” but ironically present an alternative that is effectively a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. There is some disconnect that prevents them from seeing that the downside of the Affordable Care Act is that it is too much like the predatory “free market” system that they’d prefer and is simply not socialist enough.
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