Health Care And Nationalism: The Case of Poland


Watching President Trump push Paul Ryan’s health care bill is like watching a horror movie where the ditzy babysitter insists on going into the dark basement where the ax murderer is hiding. You know what’s coming. You are screaming at the television demanding she turn back. And yet she walks on.

Michael Brendan Dougherty at The Week blasts the bill as a “set of lies all the way down” and argues Trump needs to return to his core agenda to avoid political disaster.

As embarrassing as it would be for their first big legislative push to fail, Republicans really would be better off. This party no longer knows what it believes about entitlement reform or health care and it shouldn’t pretend to know. After watching Obama’s reforms blow up in his face merely for causing some health-insurance policies to be canceled, the GOP should know that passing a law that will disrupt the coverage of millions will be political suicide.

It’s time for the GOP to take a time-out on this fiasco and focus their energy on Trump’s more populist agenda: immigration, infrastructure, and trade.

[These are the bald-faced lies Republicans are telling about health careMarch 23, 2017]

Hard to disagree. But what is the nationalist position on health care? Richard Spencer at AltRight.com argues the current multicultural America precludes implementing a rational health care policy. He says just impose a single payer system and be done with it.

[W]e can’t ignore the politics of this. If Trumpcare passes, leftists can credibly claim that Trump has betrayed his populist vision. They will recycle the hoary script about nationalism and “scapegoating” immigrants as a means of pushing through a draconian agenda. And they’ll have a point! This is the script they’ve used for decades, and it’s astonishing how the House Republicans seem determined to fit the caricature.

Like the Satsuma Rebellion, it’s time for supporters of the Emperor to rise against him in his name. And it is time for the Alt-Right to push for a “public option”—the single-payer system that Obama’s didn’t have the balls to implement.

[Why Trump Must Champion Universal HealthcareMarch 23, 2017]

But even in largely homogeneous countries, nationalist governments have taken the lead on implementing these policies. Take the patriotic government of Poland, which has outflanked the Left and strengthened its grip on power with universal health care. (Ignore the effeminate name-calling and squealing from the source.)

[D]espite the barrage of critical opinions from the western world, which Poles have historically aspired to, PiS [Law and Justice] remains the most popular party in Poland, currently polling at 38%, which is higher than the combined support of all other parliamentary parties put together. There are several reasons for this, revealing dynamics observable not only in the wider eastern European region, but further west as well.

While PiS is strongly rightwing on social issues, its economic approach can be described as leftist. It emphasises the need to tackle inequality and propagates strong welfare policies. It introduced unconditional monthly cash payments equivalent to £100 for all parents who have more than one child towards the upkeep of each subsequent child until he or she is 18. So if you have three children, you get £200 per month and so forth. For parents with one child, the payment is conditional on low income.

No previous government ever embarked on such a generous social programme. PiS’s approach puts many Polish leftists in a bind. On the one hand, they deplore the party’s unashamedly xenophobic rhetoric; on the other, they like its economic views, especially in comparison to the main opposition parties, Civic Platform and Nowoczesna, both dominated by folk still enamoured with Hayek. In effect, some on Poland’s left are not as mobilised against PiS as they could be.

[Xenophobic, authoritarian – and generous on welfare: how Poland’s right rulesby Remi Adekoya, The Guardian, October 25, 2016]

Donald Trump needs to deliver for his base of white, working class voters. Cutting taxes for the rich, which is what Ryancare (which will inevitably be called Trumpcare) essentially is, is not the way to do it. Doing literally nothing is a better idea than what the GOP is doing now.

As we said here months ago, if Trump tries to govern as a “normal” Republican when his enemies are baying for his blood, he’ll meet with Nixon’s fate.  It’s time to think outside the Beltway Right box and become the true nationalist leader his supporters hoped he would be.