Clinton pushes new single-payer health care plan, GOP vows to fight for poor people's right to die painfully
WASHINGTON D.C. -- President Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled a new healthcare plan on Friday that would create a single-payer system open to all Americans. The radical new plan is expected to meet resistance from Republicans in Congress, who promise to fight for poor people's right to die slow, painful and preventive deaths.
But the White House is bullish on HillaryCare's chances of becoming law. Clinton said she has been in meetings with key players on Capitol Hill who say they are willing to support the plan as long as it includes measures that lower prescription drug costs.
"Today, we have unveiled the most comprehensive healthcare plan that finally takes care of the needs of all working Americans," Clinton said via a Facebook Live stream from the Oval Office. "This is what the country needs, and what millions of Americans demanded."
While U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) conceded that Clinton "has a mandate to pursue a single-payer system, given the overwhelming 3 million-vote margin by which she defeated Donald Trump," other Republicans in Congress are vowing to fight the president.
Members of Congress, including Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) say they will block any attempt to provide a healthcare system that works for all Americans, "including the unwashed masses and minimum wage workers."
"As a member of the GOP, it is my obligation as the standard-bearer for intolerance and gridlock to continue to crush any attempt at a fair healthcare plan that serves the American people - even the, uh, poor people," Ryan told the Associated Press. "If you can't afford healthcare, our view is that you should simply die."
Ryan later said that his statements weren't aimed at any one particular racial demographic of poor Americans, "just impoverished blacks, Hispanics, and whites who didn't vote Republican."
President Clinton said she's prepared for an uphill battle, and expects the bill to take a year to make its way through both chambers of a GOP-controlled Congress.
"Republicans believe only the wealthy should be healthy," Mrs. Clinton told Politico on Thursday. "But this is the right thing to do for all American citizens, and the time to do it is now."
In a sign that Clinton throwing the full force of White House into getting Congress to pass the new single-payer system into law, Clinton announced she'd asked her former primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) to spearhead the effort. Sanders has been a staunch advocate for a single-payer healthcare system for decades, and based much of his campaign message on that theme.
"Look, dammit, insurance companies have long been the tail-wagging-the-dog on healthcare reform, and we are going to eliminate that succubus from the healthcare debate altogether," Sanders told the Washington Post. "The American working class has been treated with scorn and disdain by greedy insurance corporations for decades - hell, they are the main reason Obamacare has been so difficult to implement.
"Once they are out of the picture, we will see lower healthcare costs, simpler payment systems and easier access for what is a fundamental right for all people, not just the upper one percent of the upper one percent of the upper one percent," he said.
When it comes to lobbying Congress to pass Clinton's bold new health care law, Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, will also be in the mix. Mrs. Clinton said that her husband, who is known for his skill for negotiating and reaching across party lines, is anxious to "get back into the game."
"I need to keep him busy," she joked with reporters at a White House press conference Thursday. "He's been trying to redecorate the White House, and quite frankly, the man needs to be working on things closer to his wheelhouse. He's an anxious homemaker and keeps asking if he can move a desk into the Oval Office 'for old time's sake'."
Ryan is set to meet with GOP leadership next week to begin working on a Republican healthcare plan that, "does as little as possible to help the working class while costing taxpayers more money, thereby creating more wealth for our base," which, he clarified, is, "the upper one percent of the upper one percent of the upper one percent."
"To think that Congressional Republicans will just sit back and let a fair, equitable, popular, and urgently necessary single-payer healthcare plan become the law of the land is ludicrous," the House Speaker told an audience of health insurance executives last week in Washington.
"I know you all are frightened and need assurances that you will be losing out on Hillarycare. But let me assure you, my friends, we are here for you, and you alone. How else could we fund our elections? Who else could we play golf with on taxpayer-funded junkets to Palm Springs?
"This bill will not pass without a fight - just like my frequent attempts to loosen my bowels."
Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, hailed the Clinton proposal as the "first hint of sanity and true service to the American people to come out of Washington D.C. in a long, long while."
"This is a landmark bill - one that historians will note as a being a brave step in bringing parity to all Americans - especially the working class - those making less than $50,000," said Reich in a recent interview with Forbes. "It has been a long time coming - far too long, and it will make America the great nation that Republicans can only dream of making."
"We are the wealthiest nation on the planet, and to leave this hole in our social fabric is not only morally wrong, it is criminal."
Former GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump called the bill "dumb" in a recent tweet.
"This is a dumb idea. Poor people don't need affordable healthcare, they need more stuff that they like, like poor people stuff and whatever," Trump tweeted at 4 a.m. from a spare-bedroom in the Kremlin, where he has been holed up since losing the White House race to Mrs. Clinton.
In a follow up tweet, Trump said, "I'm bored. Anyone wanna drop by and be my friend? Play Russian Roulette?"
A joint meeting of Congress will take place April 17 to begin the process of putting the bill to a vote.