Do Republicans Just Want People to Die?

I don’t usually go for questions like that, but I’m having a hard time explaining the results of this survey without concluding that a significant number of Republicans don’t really favor a free market fix for health care so much as they just oppose people getting health care at all.

A telephone survey by asked 3,496 people how they would react if a business tacked on an extra 25 cents to every bill to help cover the cost of health insurance for its employees. Among Democrats, 70 percent said they would approve; 11 percent said they’d disapprove but would keep doing business with it anyway. Just 12 percent said they’d stop patronizing that business…

When Republicans were presented with the 25 cents idea, however, a plurality — 35 percent — said they would respond by taking their business elsewhere. An additional 17 percent said they would disapprove but would keep using the business, while 34 percent said they approved of the extra charge.

Here’s what makes that a head-scratcher: The vast majority of Republican respondents — 78 percent — also told questioners that Obamacare should be repealed. So a significant portion of Republicans don’t think the government should pay for people’s health insurance, but they are not willing to pay even a small amount more so that those people can get covered through their employer.

Which leads to a puzzling question: How, exactly, are these people supposed to get insurance?

When you add in the fact that several prominent Republicans around the country have actively encouraged those who lack health insurance to refuse to get insurance through the ACA exchanges, and the fact that so many Republican governors and legislators have refused to adopt the Medicaid expansion in the law (thus preventing about 4 million people from getting access to health care), it’s difficult to avoid concluding that they really do have the goal of making sure those without health insurance don’t get it by any means at all.

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  • Konradius

    For people who generally don’t believe evolution is true they really make sure evolution can do its work…

  • sugarfrosted

    You know, I think you just violated an internet rule. The answer to that headline is yes…

  • Glenn E Ross

    Health care is a finite resource. If too many people without health insurance are able to to get health care then those that already have it will have to compete for the finite resources. It is nothing short of selfishness.

  •!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    Which leads to a puzzling question: How, exactly, are these people supposed to get insurance?

    Oh, that’s easy! Once welfare, unions, and the minimum wage have all been destroyed, they’re supposed to pull themselves up by their falling apart bootstraps and work their 50 cent an hour jobs until they can lift themselves out of poverty and become rich and pay for healthcare themselves. Easy-peasy!

  • dmcclean

    Uhh, no it isn’t? If demand for healthcare expands more people will train for and enter the healthcare industry, and in fact we have been observing this for at least a decade. And certainly most of the raw materials used in medicine are commonplace, so although synthesis and manufacturing are expensive they can be scaled up and that might even lower the unit cost.

    (Eventual exception, especially due to recent mismanagement: helium. Definite exception: niobium. Another one is probably Tc99m, since there are only a few facilities that produce the parent isotopes and building a new one just for that niche would be really expensive. Maybe a few other things, but a tiny fragment of the overall cost of healthcare.)

    It might be a scarce resource, especially since the training pipeline is so long, but it isn’t a finite resource.

  • corwyn

    but it isn’t a finite resource.

    EVERYTHING is a finite resource. The real question is how sustainable is it.

  • sunsangnim

    It’s self defeating in a couple ways. If we assume that their goal is to protect the profits of the health insurance industry, wouldn’t they want as many people to get into the private market as possible? The whole law was a trade-off for the industry–submit to some new regulations, and in exchange you get millions of new customers. I can see why Republicans who are bought by the industry might want to stop the new regulations, but why prevent the insurers from getting the new customers?

    If their motivation is to reduce the deficit (which has always been doubtful), it’s cheaper to pay for preventative care than ER visits. So that doesn’t add up either.

    All that we’re left with is a psychopathic ideological drive to make the unworthy suffer as much as possible for their lack of motivation. So to answer your question, yes. Just watch the infamous video of the audience at the GOP debates in 2011 chanting for the uninsured to die.

  • Teve Tory

    If you assume the average republican is greedy and selfish, with poor values w/r/t community and their fellow man, the numbers make perfect sense, Ed.

  • Modusoperandi

    Now, look, the Government just giving away healthcare is Socialism (exempt: VA, Medicare and Medicaid, but only if I’m using them and even then shut up that’s why), but the Invisible Hand says that I’m not willing to pay more for products and services to provide it via the Free Market, so they’re screwed.

    On a side note, I, a Job Creator®, won’t give my employees healthcare coverage, because I’d have to raise prices fractionally to cover the cost, but recent polling of my customers shows that they’re unwilling to pay more. On the plus side, I’ve cut my employee’s hours and wages to the point that they qualify for the Medicaid expansion that my state, thank God, opted out of for Freedom, keeping my employees, or “Moochers”, from getting the coverage that I won’t give them. Thanks Obama!

  • dave

    Republicans dont think people should just die; They think that people should pay for their own health care/insurance. Of course, they fail to realize, or at least internalize, the fact that many people cannot afford to pay for their own health care, as well as that there are numerous factors that result in most of us paying for other’s health care already, often in a very inefficient manner. But they dont want to pay an extra $0.25 for the employees’ healthcare because that would mean they are paying for someone else’s healthcare. They would be happy to pay an extra $0.25 overhead surcharge, because the business is entitled to pass on their costs. Yes, thats inconsistent. Most people are inconsistent somewhere in their thinking.

  • raven

    The vast majority of Republican respondents — 78 percent — also told questioners that Obamacare should be repealed.

    Ironically some GOP demographics are heavy users of the ACA. More GOPers than Democrats put their adult to age 26 children on their policies. And the ACA targets older, lower income people which is the Tea Party base.

    So a significant portion of Republicans don’t think the government should pay for people’s health insurance,

    1. The ACA is a private insurance exchange. The government subsidizes lower income users. Or rather the taxpayers do, some of whom are ….the users of the exchanges.

    2. The government already does this anyway. Medicaid, emergency room care, Medicare, VA system, subsidized health clinics for low income areas, and so on. When poverty stricken people get medical care that they can’t or won’t pay for, someone picks up the bills. It’s people with health insurance and the governments.

    While the ACA costs money, It also saves money!!! A lot of it is just cost shifting.

    The CBO estimates that the ACA will save the feds, $20 billion a year.

  • raven

    wikipedia ACA: Federal deficit

    CBO estimates of revenue and impact on deficit

    CBO: Deficit reduction under the ACA; the “bump” is from the coverage expansion starting 2014[249]

    The 2011 comprehensive CBO estimate projected a net deficit reduction of more than $200 billion during the 2012–2021 period:[250][251]

    it calculated the law would result in $604 billion in total outlays offset by $813 billion in total receipts, resulting in a $210 billion net reduction in the deficit.[250] The CBO separately noted that while most of the spending provisions do not begin until 2014,[252][253] revenue will still exceed spending in those subsequent years.[254] The CBO averred that the bill would “substantially reduce the growth of Medicare’s payment rates for most services; impose an excise tax on insurance plans with relatively high premiums; and make various other changes to the federal tax code, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs”[222]—

    ultimately extending the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by 8 years.[255]

    1. The CBO estimates that the ACA will save the US feds $20 billion a year.

    2. It also extended the solvency of Medicare by 8 years. This is a huge accomplishment.

    All the GOP did was try to actively sabotage it any way they can.

  • Craig Pennington

    When I want to know what the rump-end Republicans would do in a given situation, I ask “What Would an Asshole Do?” And that’s exactly the 35% above — motivated by spite. Bunch of fucking Eric Cartmans.

  • Courtney Lynn

    It’s not really a matter of rejecting the free market health care for people, it is rejecting anything and everything President Obama does or wants to do. The funny thing is, liberals like me do not favor the ACA either. I hate seeing that insurance companies can still screw the people over; only now it will be en masse.

    Survival of the fittest mentality is also a part of their mindset, which does signify that they do want people to die off though. If you cannot be a millionaire and support their campaigns, they would not be sad if you died. Some more right wing fringe groups of the Republican party have come out and said they would let people die as well.

    It is kind of scary to think that these people continue to get elected by the very people the party could care less about though.

  • howardhershey

    Lack of affordable health insurance does, in fact, result in premature deaths Whether the Republican governors and legislatures that refuse to increase access to Medicaid at no or little cost actually want to recognize that or pretend that emergency access to hospital care is a substitute for regular medical care (and the users of this emergency access are, in fact, either dunned for the cost or are considered a loss made up by paying users) is irrelevant. That they want to go back to a system that will increase the number of Americans without insurance (and all the so-called solutions they have proposed, most of which further subsidize health care for the rich; like tax breaks for up to $20,000 a year of purchased insurance). So, yes, I consider it perfectly fair to say that the Republican Party, as part of its Obama Derangement Syndrome, are at least perfectly willing that more people die, even if they delude themselves to think that they do not *want* that to be the result of their policies.

  • zenlike

    Which leads to a puzzling question: How, exactly, are these people supposed to get insurance?

    They don’t, because mostly those are the ‘wrong kind’ of people.

    It’s always funny when the right wing tries to claim that evolution leads to social darwinism, and that this is a bad thing, when they themselves seem to want to have such a system.

  • John Pieret

    The Iron Rule of Economics is “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” If you refuse to make medical care available to most, if not all, of your citizens, numerous bad effects on the economy (especially a consumer-driven economy, such as ours) will occur: worker productivity declines (in the short run it doesn’t increase at it would have otherwise) and, with it economic activity declines or languishes; taxes increase for publicly-financed health care (or if you refuse to publicly finance health care, outbreaks of infectious disease further decrease productivity, people dying in the street reduces quality of life and business declines, etc., etc); tax revenues decline as people are driven into poverty by catastrophic medical bills; and so on and so on.

    The problem is that the 1% who are buying our politicians are not part of “our” economy. They are part of a global economy where, after they have used up the “resources” (i.e. people) in one place, they can move on to another, sort of like the aliens in Independence Day. They have ravaged much of the Third World and are moving now on to the US. They will, eventually, feel the lash of the Iron Law but it will take too long for them to feel it for the rest of us.

  • democommie

    “If you assume the average republican is greedy and selfish, with poor values w/r/t community and their fellow man, the numbers make perfect sense, Ed.

    We do not need to assume what is clearly evidenced by their actions.

    “Republicans dont think people should just die;”

    A bald-faced lie. They want all sorts of people to die, some of them in the inner cities of the U.S. and some of them in the impoverished (but often resource rich) 3rd world.

    I’m not making an assumption here, either. The bulk of GOP legislators and governors are arrogant, selfish, stupid and bigoted. Their base, the Teabaggists or, as I have long called them, the SKKKrotalMurKKKanPatriotiKKK Front are bedwetting, pants pissing crybabies.

  • democommie

    OT but worth the interruption.

    Another GOPunk:

    His name is Tal Fortang and he is NOT privileged, not one bit. He did go to an Orthodox Jewish HS in the Bronx where I’m sure there were many non-jews–although the first couple of pages of faculty and staff that I googled were pretty much all Jewish.

    Before someone decides to ding me for being anti-Semitic–this isn’t about the Jews, or anyone else, having a lock on being blind to male privilege, but coming from a young man who attended a culturally/religiously monotonic HS I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t know wtf he’s talking about. YMMV.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed asks rhetorically:

    How, exactly, are these people supposed to get insurance?

    Get down on your knees heathen and submit to God! Then healthcare will magically appear just like manna from Heaven.

    That’s not quite fair; I observe the actual response from conservatives as, “Fuck’em”.

  • dmcclean

    “EVERYTHING is a finite resource. The real question is how sustainable is it.”

    This is only true in the politically and ethically irrelevant senses that there is only so much potential energy left in light nuclei in the sun, heat in the Earth’s core, and angular momentum in the Earth-moon system that hasn’t been pumped to the moon. I don’t know which one of those is scheduled to bite us first, but whichever it is it is discounted so far into the future as to be totally meaningless. We have only a very small ability to influence any of those things (by electing geothermal, tidal, or wind power in preference to solar power).

    You really really have to stretch to make the case that health care is a finite resource. It isn’t in any meaningful sense that I can see. (Except the helium thing, which is a real problem.)

  • savagemutt

    I could never be a poll questioner. I’d constantly be grabbing people by their lapels and screaming, “What the fuck is wrong with you!!!???”

  • Lofty

    Well, duh, of course they object to people getting healthcare. Because it’s devil’s work, healing without prayer. Proper healthcare involves the patient dragging xemself to the foot of the altar, begging, praying and hoping for a miracle cure (and not getting it.). It’s just a way of getting bums on seats in their power centers.

  • Nemo

    It’s not that they want people to die. They just don’t care if they do.

  • petemoulton

    By and large, I agree with Nemo @ #24, though, yes, there are doubtless repubes out there who really do want (the right kind of) people to die.

    What really amazes me is how short-sighted the repube party has become in recent decades. They seem to have no grasp of a bigger picture, nor of longer term consequences. If they ever heard the story of Typhoid Mary, they’ve forgotten it, or, more likely, don’t think it applies to them. Typhoid Mary seemed perfectly healthy, and she infected–and killed–a lot of unsuspecting people before anyone figured out that she was the carrier.

    So, now the repubes want to make sure that their beloved health insurance companies get to make all the profit they can possibly squeeze out of the already groaning American public. If that means ten million, or twenty or thirty million of their fellow citizens don’t get healthcare insurance, well, then so be it. They can always go to the ER for treatment, can’t they?

    Well, yes and no. ERs only do emergency treatment. That’s why they’re called ERs. They have neither the time nor the resources to deal with everyday wellness care, routine physicals, and the like, that might diagnose someone who’s carrying some otherwise nonsymptomatic, but highly contagious and totally incurable disease. So suppose one of the Koch brothers goes to his country club’s restaurant, and maybe his server is one of these undiagnosed carriers with, say, ebola. What then? The Kochroach may well have the very finest gold-plated health insurance possible, but it does him no good at all if he contracts the disease. And he’ll infect others before his symptoms begin to show.

    Promoting the healthiest possible populace is the morally right thing to do, but expecting any kind of moral cvompass from the repubes is a fool’s errand. You have to sell it to them on the basis of enlightened self-interest. It’s the only thing they understand.

  • Kermit Freehand

    Dave is right. While I don’t doubt that most of these folks are heartless bastards, some of you still seem to suffer the misapprehension that Republican minds are either aware of, or bothered by, internal inconsistencies.

    These are folks who claim that:

    1. A young criminal’s behavior cannot be “excused” by (explained by) society,


    2. If I had raised him, he’d be a decent fella.


    1. Romneycare was good,


    2. Obamacare is bad.


    1. Drug users should be jailed,


    2. Limbaugh had reasons for using his drugs, and besides that was medicine.


    1. Americans should be proud of our sending men to the moon,


    2. Big government is bad.


    Inconsistency isn’t on their radar.

  • tacitus

    How, exactly, are these people supposed to get insurance?

    That’s one question. The other one which should always be asked is

    What free market solution is there in existence that will work in a marketplace where those who are most in need for the services (i.e. the sickest and the poorest) are those least able to pay for them?

    Even the Republicans in Congress mutter into their shoes when confronted this question, and they’ve had at least six years to come up with one.

  • Modusoperandi

    tacitus “Even the Republicans in Congress mutter into their shoes when confronted this question, and they’ve had at least six years to come up with one.”

    Six? Try twenty.

  • busterggi

    Repubes don’t want people to die – they think only blacks, hispanics, gays & muslims don’t have health insurance and Repubes don’t consider them to be people.

  • bethy

    Thank Jebus I live in New Zealand where quality health care is free and optional private insurance is reasonably achievable.