I don’t claim to know whether U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik is as stupid as an argument she recently tweeted suggested, or whether she assumes the audience for her tweets is too stupid to notice. Or, perhaps, this tweet merely reflects the heartbreaking and continuing decline in our political discourse based on the assumption that logic, knowledge or some combination of those two formerly respected entities is dead.
Stefanik, R-New York — who currently chairs the House Republican Conference, which makes her the third-ranking House Republican — tweeted last week:
Today’s Anniversary of Medicare & Medicaid reminds us to reflect on the critical role these programs have played to protect the healthcare of millions of families. To safeguard our future, we must reject Socialist healthcare schemes. https://t.co/mOdUuX7THT
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) July 30, 2021
Wow. Perhaps Stefanik did not learn at Harvard, nor during her three terms in Congress, that Medicare is a socialized health care “scheme” for older Americans. And Medicaid is a socialized health care scheme – or one could say a “single-payer” health care scheme, for the poor.
But I suspect she does know it.
Perhaps it isn’t clear to her what a single-payer or other form of what she prefers to call a “Socialist health care scheme” would do for all Americans — including the millions who are currently without any health insurance because they aren’t old enough to qualify for Medicare nor poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, nor rich enough to afford a private policy, nor employed in jobs that come with health insurance as a benefit, to get what Medicare provides for the elderly and Medicaid provides for the poor.
But I suspect Stefanik, a Harvard grad, has access to this information.
It seems more likely that she hopes or believes that people who are covered by Medicare and Medicaid are stupid enough to believe, based on you-tell-me-what, that if any of the various ideas for extending health coverage to all Americans were passed, the poor and the elderly would somehow become uninsured.
Or, perhaps, she just thinks if she puts the word “socialist” into a sentence, her audience loses all power of rational thought. And, who knows, maybe she’s right.
By the way, as a member of Congress, Stefanik qualifies for government-paid health care, and a government pension and quite a few more government benefits that the rest of us don’t get.