I’ll say this about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: She stays on brand.
Most Americas are trying, in our own ways, to unite during the coronavirus pandemic. We still all carry our political animuses, as you can probably tell. President Donald Trump is still upbraiding reporters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the president is costing American lives, and we all disdain the other side as much as we did three months ago, when this was unthinkable.
Perhaps most importantly, however, we’ve been focusing on what brings us together. Our strength, our charity, our resilience — these are the virtues that have always made our country great. They’re worth celebrating. They’re worth holding on to, even more so now that the hour is dark.
To those for whom the hour is always dark, however, there’s a capacity to find even darker stains upon the American soul. In this vein, I give you AOC, who says coronavirus has exposed the fact we’re in a “brutal, barbarian society” for working people.
In a livestream on social media this week, the New York Democrat was discussing the potential actions she thought could be taken by nationally and locally to alleviate economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic.
These include “rent suspensions, payment suspensions, mortgage suspensions, the guaranteed housing … drop the Medicare age to zero, some are arguing for mass enrollment in [the military health benefits program] Tricare — whatever way we can get this done, let’s get it done,” she said.
They’re probably not your solutions, and Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t quite explained what would happen to property owners, banks and utilities if there were mass suspensions of rent and mortgage payments, but we’re still not in offensive territory yet.
AOC’s reasoning is that, with 10 million layoffs, that’s 10 million people who might have lost their health benefits. That number, as estimated by a left-leaning think tank, is actually closer to 3.5 million, but that’s still significant.
“Health care is a human right. You shouldn’t get better health care because you have a higher position in work. Everyone should be able to have dignified access to health care,” she continued.
“This is supposed to be the richest society in the world,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And I think what this crisis is showing us is that this is only a rich society for a very small amount of people. And it is a brutal, barbarian society for the vast majority of working-class Americans.”
Right. Happy, cheery stuff.
First, I’d like to point out that this is such a brutal, barbarian society that Medicaid will end up covering the majority of people who lose their health insurance, according to a rather catastrophic model put together by Health Management Associates.
The number of people who’ll be left uninsured after this is all over is a moving target in this environment, both in terms of how they’ll be insured and how soon they’ll find new employment.