Obamacare Draft Cards? They Don’t Exist But The GOP Wants You To Burn Yours

The GOP is so desperate to decimate Obamacare, they’re inciting a campaign to burn ‘your Obamacare Draft Card.’ Only those don’t even exist! Image @ Washington Times

The GOP is so desperate, they’ve launched a campaign to burn ‘your Obamacare Draft Card.’ That no such card exists appears as irrelevant as the GOP. Image @ The Washington Times

We live in silly political times. Not to say there aren’t any number of important, urgent, life-altering matters our political leaders should take up, legislate, and implement (as some do), but too often, FAR too often, political time and energy is spent on petty, partisan piffle that ultimately makes the participants look like idiots and contributes mightily to their reputation as the most “do nothing Congress in history.” That’s because, instead of staying focused on issues of true importance to the country-at-large, our Congressional leaders would rather do things like vote for the 40th time to repeal Obamacare (a futile effort meant only for show) and, as of late, pump up a campaign to get young people to reject the healthcare reform by boycotting health-insurance exchanges by… burning their “Obamacare Draft Card.”

You say you didn’t know there was an Obamacare Draft Card? THAT’S BECAUSE THERE ISN’T!!

The image above was created by an artist for The Washington Times as a tongue-in-cheek effort to put the GOP’s latest anti-heathcare salvo into visual perspective. The draft card idea itself was hatched by uber-conservative Matt Kibbe’s Freedom Works, an organization so bent on taking down Obamacare they’ve got a button on their Home Page called the “war room” that links you to their “End Obamacare Now” affiliate. All very fierce and efficient. But the ‘brilliance’ (note ‘sarcasm’ quotes) is in their ‘burn your Obamacare draft card’ campaign.

See, the idea is based on the notion that ACA healthcare exchanges will need younger, healthier people to enroll to help offset the costs of older, less healthy members, not unlike the algorithms of any insurance company where the premiums paid by healthier people help cover the costs of sicker members. But the Voldemort-hearted GOP is hoping, in their frothing ‘war room’ mentality, to sabotage that equation by convincing younger, healthier people to NOT enroll in Obamacare health exchanges, thereby sabotaging the needed reserve pool. And one of the very clever and creative ways in which they hope to accomplish that is to launch this faux ‘burn your Obamacare draft card’ campaign (which, to my mind, presumes their own idiocy extends to most young people… which, as the mother of a 21-year-old son, I can assure you does not).

Excerpts from the Freedom Works pitch:

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented, “Individual resistance to the ObamaCare mandate is a natural next step following news that the Obama administration was forced by industry pressure to delay the health care law’s employer mandate. All Americans should be treated equally under the law, and the right to opt-out of a disastrous government-run health care system is no exception.”

“The health care ‘draft’ is a coercive federal strategy to ensure that enough people stay in the system, while insiders and connected friends of the White House get special exemption deals. Congress has also been quietly looking for ways to give itself special relief from the law- health care freedom for me, but not thee, I suppose.”

The secretary of Health and Human Services has statutorily exempted tens of millions of Americans from the mandate to date, and granted more than 1,200 waivers from certain ObamaCare provisions to politically connected labor unions, corporations and state governments.

“It’s not against the law to ignore the mandate or to buy coverage that doesn’t fully conform to the law’s complicated and intrusive rules. The FreedomWorks ‘Burn Your ObamaCare Card’ campaign aims to resist the draft in good conscience, without risking jail time or significant fines,” FreedomWorks Vice President of Public Policy Dean Clancy added. [Emphasis added.]

True ‘conscientious objectors’ made a statement in burning draft cards that could mean life or death. Quite a contrast to the inane frivolity of the Freedom Works Obamacare campaign! Image @ MilkinTheClock

True ‘conscientious objectors’ made a statement in burning draft cards that could mean life or death. Quite a contrast to the inane frivolity of the Freedom Works Obamacare campaign! Image @ MilkinTheClock

Get the inference of the highlighted area? They are actually trying to link, to associate, to the historical and very devastating era of American history when many young men were faced with the conundrum of either being drafted into a war they didn’t believe in, fleeing to Canada or other parts unknown, or standing in courageous civil disobedience to reject  the military demand by burning their draft cards. It was not an insignificant era; it was not that long ago, and most of its active participants are still alive and well remember the anguish of those life and death days (draftees accounted for 30.4 percent (17,725) of combat deaths  in Vietnam).

And this historical chapter is what the GOP and Freedom Works hope to invoke in their partisan campaign to reject Obamacare? The obtuseness and bone-headed insensitivity is a callous calculation that’s astonishing on one hand, completely apropos – considering the parties involved – on the other.

To take the life, death and legal consequences of a rebellious response to a military draft card and equate that with a mandate to sign up for an insurance program that will ultimately contribute to one’s ability to provide for one’s healthcare without depending on others – or government programs – is, if not unscrupulous, at least profoundly disproportionate.

But, as The Atlantic suggests, they’re likely quite aware of their hijacking of that iconic time and its symbols:

But there’s a smirk behind it all too. FreedomWorks is taking a treasured image of the anti-war left, the high-water mark of American progressive political action, and seeking to make it the right’s own. In doing so — though it would surely make the free-market loving capitalists at FreedomWorks cringe to hear it — they’re proving that in one respect, at least, Marx was right: History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

Which seems a perfect word for the Freedom Works campaign: FARCE.

But listen, if the GOP wants to really get this going, and while they’re busy co-opting things, I suggest they either grab the image above from The Washington Times or hire their own artist to conjure one up; actually get draft cards printed – maybe even some bumper stickers, fridge magnets and coffee cups while they’re at it – and then, once distributed, arrange for some well-publicized, media-saturated, viral-ready “Obamacare draft card” burning festivals… kind of like the book-burning events from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

You know we Americans always respond so well to those fascist acts of conflagration.

“It was a pleasure to burn…” Image from Fahrenheit 451 graphic novel, featured  @ NPR

“It was a pleasure to burn…” Image from Fahrenheit 451 graphic novel, featured @ NPR