Racism to Blame for GOP’s Fight Against ObamaCare?


Although I am still finding my own voice and forming my own opinions, the quiz reaffirmed that I am a “main street Republican.” Some things that I know for sure: I am pro choice and I believe the government is too big right now–spending is out of control and our deficit is a major concern.  I agree that there is a big gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. and free or subsidized health care can greatly benefit those who cannot afford it. However, considering the fact that our deficit is at a historic level, the timing is not good for this health care reform (“ObamaCare”). It will add over $500 billion to our deficit and raise taxes by nearly $570 billion (Case Against Obamacare).

I read Robert Scheer’s article, Racism and Cruelty Drive GOP Health Care Agenda, which essentially accuses the GOP for being against Obamacare because they are racist. Although it was tough to read such a biased article and I did not agree it, I did learn some things. The article states “As the Times study noted: ‘In all, 6 out of 10 blacks live in the states not expanding Medicaid. In Mississippi, 56 percent of all poor and uninsured adults are black, though they account for just 38 percent of the population.’ But that also means that almost 44 percent of the poor and uninsured in Mississippi are white, and the gutting of this program that hurts them is evidence of the false consciousness that informs racist appeals.” This was astonishing to read but Mississippi is one example. What about the other southern states? What about the northern states? I still find it hard to believe that the Republicans are fighting against the health care reform out of racism: it is an economic issue first and foremost.  One of the biggest reasons the Republicans are against Obamacare is because it will greatly increase the deficit. Racism is not the driving point behind the GOP’s health care agenda…although racism is still prevalent in our nation, it should not be to blame in this case.

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9 comments on “Racism to Blame for GOP’s Fight Against ObamaCare?

  1. The saying ignorance is bliss is one that we clearly see is not true. Robert Scheer wrote an article that stated republicans hate a law because they are racist. How ignorant can one be to believe such an idea? the most ignorant thing about that statement is that the affordable care act was written to help the people it is hurting most! which in most cases would be americans of african descent that are living in poverty. They are living in poverty on the premise that government is the only solution to solve there poverty and yet no one ever mentions the fact they are poor is because of government.

    i agree! it can be shocking to learn that one of the biggest minorites in america are poor! We can help all of the poor in america! it is simple! Promote free will! promote that education will set oyu free!

    knowledge is power and ignorance is not bliss! clearly the stats show it! the reason free willed human beings rose up is because they decided not to ignore what was laying infront of them the entire time which is opporuntiy.. hard to see it when you feel there are no jobs but there are! sorry for the ramble point is to resolve all these issues come from the ground up not the govt down!

  2. I agree that Sheer’s article is very biased and ignorant. It seems to only focus on demographics, rather than economics. I understand you argue against the majority of the points in the article. However did you find anything helpful or intriguing in the article that you did not consider before?

    • I definitely learned some things from this article–one thing that I was unaware of was Nixon’s Southern Strategy. Scheer wrote: “The trick was devilishly simple: Appeal to the persistent racist inclination of Southern whites by abandoning the Republican Party’s historic association with civil rights and demonizing the black victims of the South’s history of segregation.”

  3. I read this article as well when I found myself to be a “Main Street Republican”. I had the same reaction. The article was absurdly exaggerated and based on assumptions. The economic reasons against Obamacare are very concerning and the tax implications are high for those in the higher tax brackets. And yes, racism is still an issue but not at this level.

  4. You may vehemently disagree with Scheer. But “ignorant?” Of what?

    Nixon did use a Southern strategy.

    Those states that refused the expansion of medicaid basically walked away from free money. There is a pattern of them being Republican governors in states with high African-American populations.

    Is there a smoking gun of a politician in a KKK hood shredding money for health care? No.

    How do you weigh the evidence for or against race being a factor in what happens in our society?

    • “How do you weigh the evidence for or against race being a factor in what happens in our society?”

      That’s one of the things that I struggled with when I read the article– is there evidence so clear to build a case to support this article? Are there cold hard facts out there? or is some of it coincidental?

      • For Scheer, and me somewhat, there is a clear trajectory of how race and racial animosity of Whites towards other groups have been a clear campaign and policy strategy. Hence, to see this issue, especially when it is free money left on the table by those governors, raises the question of “why would a politician walk away from free money that helps his citizens?”

        Is it possibly a coincidence? Sure.

        The strongest argument I’ve heard is that these governors believe that the expansion of medicare that is “free” now will later fall onto their budgets.

        But in studying racism, a series of coincidences starts to lead to the idea that there is cause and effect.

        I also think it is quite possible to support policies that are racist and not be conscious or deliberately racist to an individual.

        Race is complex in America. Lyndon Johnson, who got the great voting rights bill passed was often deeply personally racist to people. Kind of the opposite of above (racial justice in policy, racist in person).

  5. I think that the correlation between the states’ refusal to accept Medicare expansions and their demographics is coincidental, mainly because southern states are traditionally Republican and its citizens most likely do not support the Medicare expansion. The elected officials need to follow the will of their citizens if they want to get reelected. Southern states have always had a high population of African Americans and their political affiliations have varied over time. Mississippi, for example, was a blue state through 1960 when it voted in John F. Kennedy and didn’t start becoming a dependable red state until Ronald Reagan was elected president.

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