The example Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) gave in an interview with MLive.com was from his own experience when he waited until the morning after to take his youngest son to the doctor with an injured arm, because he did not want to waste money on an expensive emergency room visit. The arm, it turned out, was broken.Did this really happen? I have no idea. It's possible that Huizenga, who's no millionaire but isn't exactly poor, is the kind of guy who would pinch pennies even when his child's physical health is at stake. My guess, though, is that this is merely a fable. Huizenga is giving us a preview of GOP scapegoating after his party replaces the Affordable Care Act with a woefully inadequate substitute.
"We weren't sure what was going on. It was in the evening, so I splinted it up and we wrapped it up, and the decision was, okay, do we go to the ER? We thought it was a sprain, but weren't sure," Huizenga said, adding that he and his wife "took every precaution and decided to go in the next morning."
"When it [comes to] those type of things, do you keep your child home from school and take him the next morning to the doctor because of a cold or a flu, versus take him into the emergency room? If you don't have a cost difference, you'll make different decisions," he said.
I've assumed that Republicans would somehow find a way to blame the high cost, inadequate coverage, and (for plenty of people) lack of availability of Trump/Ryan/McConnellcare on Democrats. But maybe that's too much to expect from Republicans, despite their mastery of propaganda and message discipline.
So who'll be at fault when the T/R/Mcare sucks? Well, it'll be those damn spendthrifts who overuse the system, at great cost to True Patriots who would never do such a thing. And what constitutes overuse? Rushing your kid to the emergency room at night when he might have a broken arm!
Okay, maybe this particular example will fail to persuade even conservative heartlanders. But the GOP will continue to pursue this approach, and the talking points will be more carefully honed in the future. If Republicans' healthcare plan is awful, they'll never admit that it's their fault. It'll have to be the fault of Those People who abuse the system.
And I don't mean that they're just going to scapegoat non-white people, although they'll do plenty of that. It was noted during the campaign that many Trump voters were whites weren't struggling financially, but who saw white neighbors falling through the cracks -- and were angry that so many of those neighbors were on disability. Republicans will be scapegoating those whites, too. They'll persuade Middle American voters that the country is full of parasites, and that's why T/R/Mcare sucks. Because Republicans will never take responsibility for failing America.