Senator Ed Markey took to the floor of the Senate to explain how the TEApublicans in Congress are dealing with the famous five stages of grief as hypothesized by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. The concept came from her work with terminally ill patients and the lack of discussion on the subject in medical schools. While the stages are not always experienced in the same order and some may not experience them all they are generally accepted as valid.
In the case of the TEApublicans Senator Markey sees it with a great deal of clarity and accuracy.
He begins by saying that,
“Making affordable health care available to millions of Americans is anathema to today’s TEA party Republicans, they cannot accept it, they shut down the government to try to stop it. The TEA party Republicans just cannot handle the fact that the Affordable Care Act will guarantee that millions more Americans are going to have access to quality health care coverage, that being a woman is no longer going to be a pre-existing condition.”
He goes on to point out that before Obamacare, 60% of personal bankruptcies were caused at least in part by a catastrophic illness, the cost of which exceeded the lifetime cap on coverage and that this can no longer happen since the law ends coverage caps.
He then goes into an explanation of how they are handling each stage, beginning with denial:
“The TEA party Republicans refuse to accept the fact that the Affordable Care Act is the law, they have tried to repeal it more than 50 times. It has been ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court, they ignore last year’s Presidential election in which the Republican candidate who promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, if he was elected was soundly defeated.”
Next he covers the second stage, anger:
“The TEA party Republicans are enraged that the Affordable Care Act is going to work.”
He explains that we know this because we have seven years of evidence in Massachusetts where Romneycare has been in place since 2006, where 97% of adults and 99% of children now have good, affordable coverage for health care. A poll conducted in April of this year found that 84% of Massachusetts residents are satisfied with their health care coverage This is of course the plan that the ACA is based on and a plan which was itself based on the one promoted by the Heritage Foundation which now says that Obamacare is unworkable.
Moving on to the third stage, bargaining:
“The TEA party Republicans are doing a lot of bargaining these days, they are using the entire federal budget and soon the full faith and credit of the United States as leverage in their negotiations to try to gut Obamacare.”
He goes on to point out that they really do not want to negotiate, they are only interested in eliminating the law and are willing to settle for nothing less.
Next up is depression:
“The TEA party Republicans are clearly depressed that they are getting blamed for shutting down the government, that public opinion is sharply turning against them and that many Republicans are repudiating their tactics.”
At last he comes to the fifth stage, acceptance:
“The TEA party Republicans have not yet reached this final stage of acceptance, they still do not fully understand the backlash that they are facing from the public.”
It is doubtful that they will ever reach the stage of acceptance. These are people who are so certain of their own infallibility that they may never see that they have not only failed but that they were wrong from the beginning. They see themselves as being on a divinely inspired mission to save the nation from itself and cannot accept that they may be something other than the holy warriors that they have portrayed themselves to be.
Senator Markey’s entire speech can be seen in the video below.