Why do some of our elected representatives think it’s ok to use blackmail to undermine a law that has been passed by Congress and signed into law by the President? I refer to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
First there was a campaign of disinformation about the ACA. Remember death panels? Remember how Canadian national health care was mocked as “rationed” due to the Canadian government’s choice to keep costs down by allowing longer wait times for non-critical medical procedures? To call it disinformation is generous: it was intentional deception and lies. The ACA was going to ruin America financially, it was going to decide who lives and who dies, it was going to kill jobs, it was going to cause people to lose insurance, it was going to make health care unaffordable, etc.
Then there was the crafty relabeling of the ACA as “Obamacare”, casting it as the child of the President when it was actually put together by a wide coalition of dissimilar interest groups including Congress, Insurance Companies and other major corporations, Unions and medical professionals.
Everyone knows that unchecked growth of health care costs threatens the financial future of the USA. For the first time we passed a law that has the potential to bring our health care accessability, quality and cost structure up to the standards that most of Western Europe takes for granted, and these toads want to kill it.
Finally, came sabotage. Many Republican governors have refused to support the ACA provision for Medicare expansion, to the detriment of their own States, in order to undermine the financial viability of the ACA. It’s irrational, because health care costs for the uninsured still have to be paid. Without Medicare expansion, more of those costs are paid for by State taxes and the insurance premiums of the rest of us. In order to screw the ACA, these governors screw the everyone they represent.
Having been unable to muster enough votes to prevent the ACA from becoming law, and having been rebuffed by the Supreme Court in their effort to have the ACA declared unconstitutional, now the Republicans are trying to blackmail the President into defunding the ACA.
But wait, you say, it’s not blackmail, they just want to negotiate a deal that reduces spending. NOT! These guys aren’t going to raise the debt limit if we cut expenditure on things they like, such as tax breaks for corporations, tax cuts for rich bastards, unfunded military ventures in the Middle East, roads to nowhere and so forth. It’s the Affordable Care Act they are going after. If the President and the Senate refuse to defund the ACA, the Republican house will force the United States into bankruptcy. That’s blackmail.
What I don’t get in all this, is that the ACA is based on an idea that originated in the Conservative movement, to get control of health care costs and ensure that you can’t force me to pick up the tab for your health care. Mitt Romney (Mitt who?) implemented something very similar in Massachusetts. Remember how Romney squirmed when this was brought up in the Presidential debates – heh heh.
Why do these people have such vitriolic hate of the ACA? Is it that the Democrats hijacked their idea? Is it because they are afraid Obama will get credit for it? Or maybe this is the new eugenics. If the poor and indigent die younger, then people who donate to the Republican Party will get a bigger slice of the pie.
With the right wing, everything seems to come back to money, religion and ethnicity. Since the Bible doesn’t say that Obama is a Muslim or the ACA is going to hurt “job creators”, this must be about money.
It’s time the Democrats stopped being nice and engaged the Republicans at their own game. How about “if you don’t pass the debt limit, the President will use executive power to pay our bills”? Once that genie is out of the bag, there’ll be no more playing political games with the full faith and credit of the United States of America, or pretending that the President is somehow responsible for Congressional spending.