RICHMOND

What is there in the Republican psyche that causes the party's adherents to invariably come up on the side of negativity, unfairness, braggadocio, false hopes and false promises? There is something mean stuck in their craws and try as they might, they can't hoomph it up and spit it out.

As with everything else in their camp songs, they burble about unfair taxes from the federal government (which they disrespectfully refer to as Uncle Sweet as far as poor people are concerned), about abortion, about the high cost of education, immigrants, unemployment pay, a livable minimum wage, improving the structure of the nation -- oh, there are so many good things they don't like. But making things better for everybody and not just for themselves is so far out of their minds that they cannot even conceive of it, let alone think about it.

Which brings us to the matter that has engorged their imaginations to the nth degree, pushing any and all matters out of the way. They focus only on health care (as if they cared) until much of the nation now believes that if we could only do away with the Affordable Care Act, which is now the law of the land, all other cares, and they mean all, would disappear. Are you one of the people living in Fairyland?

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As with all our other programs, I blame every problem on former President George W. Bush. It was he who stated on a visit to Cleveland: "I mean, people have access to health care in America.


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After all, you just go to an emergency room." This simple sentence demonstrates how much George W. Bush knows about health care in America, its costs in both money and people's lives, its problems and its potential solutions. He knew nothing at the time and he knows even less now. We have millions of people either without medical care or without the good medical care of which we are capable.

But no one has yet come up with a cost estimate that will provide needed funds without bankrupting both buyer and seller. One major truth is Obamacare as we know it still needs work. Every once in a while a Republican comes out of a knot in a tree and proposes a health plan that will save America. It always contains a schedule to give more to the rich and less to the poor.

If you don't believe me about some of the Republican leaders, take a peek at their faces when they don't know you're looking. Rep. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep. Paul Ryan. You can't tell anything from looking at Rep. John Boehner because he almost always appears to have a buzz on.

Milton Bass is a regular Eagle contributor.