UPDATE: Well I'll Be Damned: Luis Lang quits GOP, openly calls for Single Payer
Lifelong Republican Turns On His Party, Embraces Obamacare
Luis Lang, who is currently crowdfunding for medical expenses that he can’t afford because he didn’t sign up for insurance under Obamacare, has become a viral sensation. However, the 49-year-old South Carolina resident says he doesn’t want to be the poster child for the Republican Party’s opposition to health care reform anymore.
Many people both here and over at Daily Kos have criticized me, either for donating a few bucks ot Mr. Lang in the first place or alternately, for coming down so hard on the guy in my blog posts. Some thought it was a waste of time (and money) to help the guy out, while others thought it was an equal waste of time/breath to chastize him, figuring that it'd fall on deaf ears. Still others thought that it's inappropriate to donate money with one hand while berating him with the other. Well, guess what?
In an interview with ThinkProgress, Lang joked that he might be the most hated Republican in the country right now. But he also said that, thanks in part to a flood of media attention that led him to learn more about health care policy, he doesn’t identify with the GOP anymore.
“Now that I’m looking at what each party represents, my wife and I are both saying — hey, we’re not Republicans!” Lang said. He added that, although he’s not a political person by nature and has never voted solely along party lines, he wants to rip up his voter registration card on national television so Americans will have proof that he’s making the switch.
The whole article is worth a read, but here's the real jaw-dropper. The other day I snarkily posted that Lang appeared to be inadvertently calling for single payer healthcare. Well, as of today...
He said he’s always tried to take responsibility for his own bills, but he also believes that the United States should move toward a universal health care system that makes coverage available to everyone regardless of their income level. He said he “one hundred percent agrees” with the people who commented on his crowdfunding page to argue that health care is a human right.
It's official: Luis Lang (and apparently his wife) has seen the light. I say in all sincerity, Mazel Tov!!
So, the question now is this: Do I owe him an apology for ripping him to shreds up until now?
My initial instinct is to say no, I don't, because until now pretty much everything he's said has just dug the hole deeper. However, I'll have to think that one over.
In the meantime, I will say now, in all sincerity: Thank you, Mr. Lang, for being open to reason. Apparently my $5 wasn't spent in vain after all.
As for the Big Picture, there's millions of other potential Luis Langs out there, and a whole lot of them may be about to go through a similar experience if the Supreme Court tears away their federal tax credits. Let's hope that they come to the same correct conclusion that Mr. Lang did (without having to go nearly blind and bankrupt first, of course).
UPDATE: My 9-year old son was wondering what I was so geeked about. I explained to him (in fairly basic terms, of course) what had happened. His response:
"Well...I hope he keeps one Republican quality!"
"Yeah? Which one is that?"