The healthcare vote wasn’t about Red or Blue, it was about green.
The house narrowly passed the media ridiculed Affordable Care Act replacement bill entitled American Health Care Act in the house on a 217–213 vote. The bill will now move to the Senate. There are 1000's of articles that are exposing the obvious holes in the bill, such as the reluctance to include pre-existing conditions, removing the medicaid expansion and a forgotten caveat letting young adults stay on their parent’s healthcare plan until 26. There’s no other way to look at this, millions of people will lose their healthcare, but the biggest talking point here isn’t whether the red side or the blue side won but more importantly the green.
The US economy is the global driving force of our strength around the world. It is the basis of the American Dream and how we have branded our country the land of opportunity. You can’t have opportunity if there aren’t Trump Towers or celebrities buying high end sports cars. The fact that millions of people will lose their healthcare makes a push for this bill seem toxic, until we follow the money trail.
Health Care Select Sector SPDR® ETF (XLV), which is an Exchange Traded Fund that includes many of the major health Insurance companies including Aetna and United, rose more than 1% after the vote total was released. Aetna’s and United’s stock both showed over 1% gains after the vote. You are probably thinking, that’s too bad. 1% is nothing. The net assets of the XLV are over $16.1B. Over $161 million dollars of wealth was gained from the result of this bill and that doesn’t include the tax breaks and the incentives that replacing the ACA gives to some of the wealthiest Americans.
There is no way around it Obamacare was a redistribution of wealth but instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul, President Barack Obama, got Paul, and 24 million other Americans a doctor. The people benefiting from repeal though aren’t just the Koch brothers and Goldman Sachs, they are the franchise owner of your local coffee shop, the VP of the company you did your internship with in college, and other influential people in their respective communities. These people are not all millionaires, the 1% starts at $450,000 of household income, and we have to remember there are a lot of them (over 3.5 million Americans). This bill isn’t just helping the people buying yachts, it also helps the guy making $500k, who coaches a little league team. Helping that guy not only gets his vote but his little league team, church and other people who aspire to be like him.
Influencer marketing is the biggest trend in the marketing industry right now but politicians have been doing this for centuries. The Youtuber who promotes natural brands, is no different than the Wall Street exec who talks at his Alma Mater at graduation. This was seen in the black vs blue lives matter debacle. If I give you $100k and tell you it’s from the guys who support the police, you will be reluctant to listen to any brutality victim. Dave Chappelle famously answered the question which soft drink tastes better Coke or Pepsi with the response “whichever one is paying me more at the time”.
So, while we are all laughing at the Daily Show or marching in front of City Hall, let’s remember the real implications of votes like these and no it’s not about vaccinations or pre-existing conditions. It’s about wealth creation and political power. There are a lot of people who are okay with millions of people they do not know losing their healthcare, just as we were all okay with millions of “insurgents” dying in one of the many wars we fought in. (Thank you to all the troops for your courageous service). So no the Republicans aren’t heartless or out of touch, they simply have a different goal. The one who controls the economy, controls the people and unfortunately your health and subsequently your marching isn’t worth $161M.