Opinion: The GOP’s “moral insanity”

The economy is now more important than public safety.

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the disease is raging anew because corporate-serving public officials rushed to “open the economy,” causing more infections and deaths.

So, gosh, what to do now? Of course, let’s take away the health care coverage of some 23 million Americans!

Backed by Trump & Co., that’s the brilliant health care priority being pushed by top Republican officials in 18 states. Led by Greg Abbott, the mingy governor of Texas, these GOP-controlled states have chosen in our time of national health crisis to run to the Supreme Court, asking its Republican majority to strike down Obamacare. If they get their way, millions of families would lose their health coverage, and insurance giants (which are major campaign donors to Abbott and other GOP officials who’re pushing the court action) would again be able to restrict coverage that millions of others now have.

It’s perverse that any other governor would follow Abbott’s lead. Texas has America’s highest number of uninsured people (including a record number of unprotected children). Killing Obamacare would add another million Texans to the 18 percent who’re already without coverage. Plus, it would then not be there for some 3 million other Texans expected to lose their job-based insurance policies.

The health care nightmare pushed by the Texas governor has been called “moral insanity.” So naturally, Donald Trump rushed to embrace it! He recently directed his attorney general to back Abbott’s effort to pressure the high court to scrap Obamacare.

However, this intentionally cruel right-wing political maneuver is so unpopular — especially today — that there was no trumpeting of the legal filing by the White House. Instead, it was tiptoed over to the court at 10:30 on a Thursday night — hoping you and I wouldn’t notice.

[pullquote-1] Meanwhile, as directed by their big business funders, top Republican officeholders across the country have been defying public health experts in past weeks to rush America’s workers back into their jobs. But — oops! — the microscopic COVID-19 turns out to be smarter and stronger than Trump and all the money-grubbing CEOs combined, so their impetuous back-to-work commands have backfired, causing the crisis to surge again, killing thousands more Americans.

What to do now? Why, of course, get Congress to protect them! Uh… not protect workers and customers, but protect corporate profits. Thus, the White House, congressional sleazes such as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, and the Gucci-wearing corporate lobbyists are pushing furiously to pass a law decreeing that corporations cannot be held liable for profit-driven actions and negligence that sicken and kill untold numbers.

Crying crocodile tears for those giants guilty of intentionally endangering the public, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s corporate-hugging economic advisor, wailed: “You’ve got to give the businesses some confidence here that if something happens… you can’t take them out of business. You can’t throw big lawsuits at them.” But what about giving workers confidence that “if something happens” you can’t take away people’s basic human right to pursue justice?

Besides, why shouldn’t We the People hold these economic powerhouses legally accountable? By preemptively giving a blanket pardon to corporate entities, you’ll give direct financial incentive to their executives to forgo investing in protective measures for workers and public health. Indeed, the very fact they’re insisting on a law to shield them from people who get hurt is an admission that they know the rush to restart their profit machine will sicken and kill others.

That’s not just greedy, it’s inhumane.