The Republicans’ Ferocious Assault on Health Care… And a REAL Answer to Those Attacks

Updated July 26, 2017, first posted July 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' note: Since this article was first posted, the health care bill first hit a dead end, and now (as of July 26) Trump and the Republicans are in the midst of an intense offensive to get a Senate bill passed. We will be covering these developments.


The Republican Senate health care bill, cooked up by a leading core of Republi-fascists behind closed doors, was released on June 22. It was intended to be rammed through to a vote within the week, but it ran into sharp conflicts within the ruling class. As we go to press, the Republican bill is on hold, but another vote is planned for July. The prospect of these killing attacks becoming law is far from a dead issue. 

The Senate version of the Trump/Pence “health care” bill would strip health coverage from 22 million more poor and oppressed people over the next decade. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, cut vital services, slash Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood, and kill even more people than are already dying because of this capitalist health care system. At the same time it will cut nearly $1 trillion in taxes for corporations and the most wealthy.

Slashing Medicaid is at the heart of the Republican’s Senate bill. Medicaid covers 20 percent of all citizens and legal residents; 40 percent of all children; half of all births; and 64 percent of all nursing home residents. This bill threatens the lives of broad sections of the poor of all nationalities: those sick with pre-existing conditions, children and adults with disabilities, women, and the growing population of older adults.  

And the anti-woman outlook of Christian fascism is embedded in the bill. Medicaid payments will be blocked for care provided by Planned Parenthood, endangering the lives of millions of women who rely on Medicaid and Planned Parenthood for life-saving cancer tests, maternity care, and birth control. 

All this would come down hardest on Black, Latino, Native American and other oppressed people.

Attacks on Obamacare have, for years, been a rallying cry for the fascist agenda now concentrated in the form of the Trump/Pence regime. Their assault on Obamacare is based on an outlook that society and government have no responsibility for anything bearing on the well-being and welfare of people—a vicious individualism aimed especially at the poor and minorities—as well as an insane and poisonous hatred of Obama, and of Black people in general, that these Republicans tap into and unleash. The fascists fed a feeling among a native born, white, Christian social base that Obama being president meant that America is not “theirs” anymore and that they must “take it back” from “freeloaders” (Black people and immigrants), with an all-but-open appeal to white male entitlement.

This madness turns “who feeds whom” in this country 100 percent upside down. As Bob Avakian says: “There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.” (BAsics 1:1) For 250 years, there was the horror of the exploitation of slaves in conditions of indescribable hell... followed by nearly a century of continued brutal oppression in the fields, now as serf-like sharecroppers, and then many decades more of super-exploitation that built up the industry of the U.S., with Black workers being confined to the most dangerous, low-paid and filthiest jobs, last hired and first fired... down to today, with Black people continuing to be discriminated against and oppressed including in employment and credit.

And millions of immigrants have been and are exploited mercilessly, first in the countries they left and now here, by capitalism-imperialism. Undocumented immigrants are denied welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits, even as they pay billions of dollars in sales taxes and in Social Security taxes for retirement benefits they will never receive.

The Status Quo Is No Answer, but There IS an Answer

Trump and the Republicans’ “health care” bill is a horror. In the face of this murderous attack on the most basic kind of medical care, what is urgently needed is an unrelenting resistance that says this Trump/Pence fascist regime has to go!

At the same time, the answer is not to defend the status quo. Obamacare reflected a consensus among powerful sections of the capitalist class that something major had to be done to contain health care costs and expand coverage, in part to maintain social stability in society. But these reforms were constrained by the reality that under capitalism, health care—like everything else—is a commodity to be sold for profit, and subject to the overall needs of a system built on exploitation and oppression.

Even with Obamacare, millions of people have gone uncovered and millions more receive care that is inadequate, often ineffective and very often demeaning. Meanwhile, massive public health crises—the unchecked AIDS epidemic among Black and Latino gay and bisexual men, the opioid addiction epidemic, the diabetes epidemic (overwhelmingly focused among the oppressed), cervical cancer—are either ignored altogether, or the treatments for which get warped and distorted through the demands of capital and its white-supremacist and patriarchal biases.

Yet the basis exists for a huge leap forward in the health and well-being of the masses of people in this country, and this can be done in a way that benefits humanity all over. This points to the facts that a) all this horror and degradation, and being caught in a battle to prevent it from going to a whole lower level, is not necessary, and b) we could do far better. Read from Article 1, Section 2, Point 7, Heading H from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America on what it says about health care. A different—a far better—world is in fact possible... if we are willing to fight for it.

For more on the analysis of Obamacare, see “The  Shutdown, the Showdown, and the Urgent Need To Repolarize… for Revolution” on


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