I must start this column with the powerful statement that Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) made in explaining why she would not go along with her party leadership and vote to repeal ObamaCare without a replacement.
She simply said, "I did not come to Washington to hurt people."
Capito refused to be a part of a sham and a charade that prized party loyalty over the health and welfare of her state's residents.
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (R-ME) and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks Man charged with threatening Alaska senators pleads not guilty Two women could lead a powerful Senate spending panel for first time in history MORE (R-Alaska) joined her.
But that was not the main reason.
These three Senators saw the legislation for what it was. An ugly, cruel and terribly harmful act which would permanently hurt people.
I have commented before on the mendacity of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky). It needs to be repeated. This individual who was prepared to sell out even the citizens of his own state.
If his efforts had been successful, over 22 million Americans would no longer have health insurance.
That didn't seem to bother him one bit. He would have been satisfied with anything that was labeled health insurance.
I don't want to forget Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions MORE (R-Texas). His proposal to have a two-tier system would have brought us all back to the "good old days" when insurance companies casually but firmly rejected people for coverage because of "pre-existing conditions."
Cruz's idea was so horrible, the two largest insurance federations opposed it immediately. They warned of the instability it would bring and the eventual unraveling of the entire industry.
McConnell, in a desperate attempt to get anything passed, included Cruz's gruesome idea in the final GOP legislation.
President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE, a man who is not into the details or content of anything of significance, choose to remain on the sidelines.
He would have signed anything presented to him.
He's into branding. Call something health insurance — even if it is not. Say it's terrific even if it's dreadful.
ObamaCare was not perfect. But more than 20 million Americans got health insurance. They did not have it before. That's irrefutable.
ObamaCare expanded Medicaid — so more Americans received lifesaving medical procedures they were before deprived and denied.
The goal should be of this "advanced" country that everyone is covered.
No one — I repeat, no one should be excluded.
Why are we the only "advanced" country in the world that continues to be the exception. There is no justification for that.
We as a nation should be embarrassed that we treat our own citizens with such gross indifference.
Health care is not a privilege.
It is and should be a right for everyone.
Maybe the 2018 mid-term elections will punish and defeat all those elected officials that refuse to see the light.
I sure hope so.
Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. Previously, he was the political analyst for WAMU-FM, Washington's NPR affiliate, where he co-hosted the "D.C. Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He later became the political analyst for WTOP-FM, Washington's all-news radio station, where he hosted "The Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in writing.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.