Contrast the national median income for a family of four -- $55,775 -- against the average bureaucrat or congressional or presidential staffer, who earns twice what the average American family does (members of Congress earn 3.2 times their average constituent), and the picture becomes clear. They can't possibly understand the daily life of the average American. In this context, the GOP proposal to "repeal and replace Obamacare" makes perfect sense. From their cushy perch -- $16000 a year for health insurance is not such a big number.
The people who are coming to town halls have a point. Their justifiable anxiety (some of it sparked by politicians and the news media) stands in the way of a down-payment on reforming Obamacare in short run and reforming our health care delivery system in the medium to long term. These vocal town hall participants are part of the 1 percent of the USA population that incur 23 percent of the cost of health care in the United States. Here's how we can help these people without raising insurance premiums for the other 95 percent!
It is an axiom of American politics that Americans reject a public health care option. Rhetoric to the contrary: 49.6 percent of the American people get their health care paid for by a government-run insurance program. The dictionary definition of a public option! Instead of railing against it -- why not seize the opportunity?
By the time I had printed out a copy of the just released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate of the GOP proposal to "repeal and replace Obamacare" my inbox had filled up with draconian headlines. A complete reading of the 27 page report paints a more complicated picture but does urge caution as the House of Representatives moves to debate. But, if we examine the CBO's underlying assumptions, their analysis, itself, is complicated and more conjecture than fact.