When all else fails, Republicans resort to playing the victim because that’s the one thing that binds all conservatives—the deep conviction that they’re always being picked on. Watch it play out in this tearful video from Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) who’s upset that the man he’s challenging for Senate, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), is running an ad reminding voters that Barletta wants to take their health care away.
Barletta has a grandson with cancer, which is a horrible thing to have to go through—something millions of families know from awful experience. Like Stacie Ritter of Manheim in Lancaster County, who Casey has known for years and who appeared in an ad for him. Casey “has spoken about Ritter’s family for years during the debate about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and brought her up during a Senate hearing in January 2017.” In the ad, Ritter relates the experience of having her twin daughters both stricken with cancer at the same time when they were very young. “Thank God we had health insurance,” Ritter says in the ad. “But if Lou Barletta has his way, kids like mine could be denied the care they need.”
Apparently Barletta thinks—or wants voters to think—that Casey had this ad made specifically to be mean to him, because he told Casey about his grandson and because the child is also a twin. Because now someone in his own family is horribly ill, Barletta apparently believes his voting record on healthcare should be off-limits. Because that’s how it works with Republicans—until it happens to someone they love, until it affects their own families, they don’t care.
Barletta didn’t care about anyone’s health care and certainly not their pre-existing condition coverage all the times he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act—every time it came up in the House. He voted for every bullshit “replacement” plan from Republicans that would, indeed, allow health insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or make it completely unaffordable.
That’s the reality, unfortunate as it is for Barletta and every Republican running for office right now—they’ve all voted, again and again and again, to take people’s health insurance away. And until someone they personally care about got sick, they simply didn’t care.