The Republican party has clearly become the cult of Trump. But, even before Trump, the party had also become a cult of death, consistently and willfully engaging in policies and actions that will knowingly lead to preventable and unnecessary deaths.
Earlier this year, an analysis by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that the refusal by fourteen states controlled by Republican legislatures to expand Medicaid under the ACA has resulted in thousands of deaths that could have been prevented. According to the report, the refusal to adopt Medicaid expansion “likely resulted in 15,600 additional deaths over this four year period that could have been avoided if the states had opted to expand coverage”.
In 2018, the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Congress as well as the Republican president supported repealing the ACA. The best estimates of the impact of repealing the ACA without any replacement, which was the Republican plan being voted on, would have resulted in anywhere between 24,000 and 44,000 preventable deaths per year. In addition, Attorneys General in a number of red states as well as the Trump Department of Justice are supporting a legal effort to rule the ACA as currently configured unconstitutional. That effort, based on absurd legal logic and upending longstanding precedent, has already resulted in a favorable ruling from a total hack of a Republican judge in the conservatives favorite federal circuit, the Fifth. If that case is ultimately successful, it would have the same effect on additional deaths that could have been prevented as repealing the ACA.
According to statistics available from 2017, over 36,000 Americans die each year as a result of gun violence. The majority of those deaths, over 60%, are suicides. 35% of those deaths, nearly 13,000, are homicides. Each day, another 100 of our fellow Americans will die from some sort of gun violence. So far this year, there have been nearly 300 mass shootings, more than one a day, with most of those going unreported in the national media. And after each one of those mass shootings that actually does get media attention, the Republican party offers their thoughts and prayers and does nothing. Mitch McConnell has spent most of the last decade opposing any gun control legislation. He is refusing to bring the background check bill, which has passed the House and is overwhelmingly supported by the American people, up for a vote in the Senate, And he has so far refused to even get behind the bipartisan effort to pass a “red flag” law…