Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Oh, You Republicans: Stop Talking Already!

Yesterday Sean Hannity had members of his studio audience discuss the government shutdown. Participants hailed from both sides of the debate, meaning some members support Obamacare and some don’t. I was relieved, because I’d gotten very weary of the endless parade of House Republicans justifying their mulish foolishness with cries that they’re “standing up for the American people.”

And I’ll tell you what else I’m weary of, in a minute. But first, here’s a disclaimer.

  • I’m taking a “wait and see” attitude toward Obamacare. While I don’t view healthcare as a right, I do believe a civil society will find ways to provide basic healthcare for its most vulnerable members.
  • My family does not qualify for the exchanges.
  • I’m not a huge fan of President Obama.

Having said all that, I’m thoroughly tired of all the right-wing sound bites. Such as:

The President lied when he said ‘If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.’
Let’s fight fair, okay? Whatever the President meant, I think it’s more than safe to say that his statement was NOT a guarantee that employers would forever and a day maintain their current offerings. If an employer decides he’d rather send his employees to the exchanges than continue offering health insurance, that’s his choice. If the employer wants to offer an Aetna plan today and an Amerihealth plan tomorrow, that’s also his choice. You can’t blame the ACA for that. No matter how strongly you may believe employers have been provoked into making whatever changes, they’re still exercising choice. And isn’t employer choice what you Republicans are all about?

“Congress shouldn’t be exempt from Obamacare.”

Yeah, that sounds good. If Congress passed a law, they should be subject to the law, right? But consider this. Members of Congress and their staff will have to choose a plan from the exchange. So what’s all the fuss?

Well, unlike all other employees, Congress will be allowed to apply their employer contribution toward the cost of care.

And you know what? That makes sense, because the ACA was put in place to provide health insurance to individuals who don’t have it, primarily because their employers don’t provide it. Does that sound like Congress to you? 

On the contrary, Congress’ employer provides mighty darn good insurance. So why should members of Congress lose their benefits—and effectively incur a pay cut—for no other reason than to make them eligible for the exchanges? Congress is being sent to the exchanges to experience it and support it. Significantly reducing their compensation wasn’t the goal and shouldn't be an acceptable unintended consequence. (And no, I don’t have any relatives in Congress, and I don’t even particularly like Congress right now, but fair is fair.)

“We’ve tried to negotiate. We’ve agreed to fund X, Y, and Z.”

Sure you have. You’ve agreed to fund everything you never had issue with in the first place. Come on. The rest of us aren’t that dumb.

“We didn’t cause the government to shut down.”
Yes you did.
You passed the law. Now you’re trying to “unpass it” by eliminating the funding to implement it. This is soooo not the way to operate in good faith, and you all look like a bunch of vindictive sore losers as a result. Yeah, I’ve heard the other side of this argument—that President Obama has unilaterally changed the law over the months and so Obamacare really isn’t the law of the land, but I’m not buying that.

Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, Charles Krauthammer, who’s said repeatedly what a terrible law Obamacare is, also said that the Republicans have gone about this thing the wrong way. He told O’Reilly, “If you believe as I do, and as the GOP does, that it’s an impossible monstrosity, then why not let it go into affect, and the country would utterly reject it.”
Yes, why not? Oh I get it. You’re all a bunch of principled conscientious objectors. Give me a break, please.

Bob Beckel, resident Democrat on The Five, said he wanted to thank the Republicans for the “great gift they’ve given us, by closing down this government.”

See, Beckel, Krauthammer, and O’Reilly all get it, even if the House Republicans don’t.

But I imagine they’ll figure it out after the next election.


  1. What a liberal slam bashing. I could listen objectively if you didn't sound like you drank all the koolaid but sorry I cannot buy into the innocense of the democratic party. Please the democrats are no more less guilty. Have you read the Obamacare bill? Do you actually know what is in that bill? Oh yes that bill does address some healthcare issues, however, if you ever read it through you would choke on what it contains under the premise of "healthcare" Please before anymore of this continues on I would encourage getting a large group of volunteers together, break down the bill into sections and have meeting to report exactly what the different sections report. I then would be open to discussion and also I am confident all would be singing a different song if you knew what was in that bill under "healthcare". In addition I would like to know why Congress should be exempt from this bill? They are people who put their pants on one leg at a time just like you and me. What makes them so special? If this bill is everything great they say it is then make an example of it and prove to society that there is nothing to be concerned about and use it. You will never see it happen. Anyone out there a veteran and forced to get your healthcare from the VA? They can attest to what Obamacare is selling. It is a nightmare and I have sons who have been going through hell just to even get a doctors appt for a toothache or the flu. Forget about a necessary operation. The fact that Nancy Pelosi said "Let's get this bill signed so we can find out what's in it" doesn't scare you in the least". Seriously. I do not want to see our country in this condition nor do I want to see our government in a shut down. I only see the innocent people hurt and it appears the powers that be are going after the most vulnerable. Seriously denying a dead soldier a burial due to the shut down? What a disgrace that was especially to put the family through that. And don't just put that on the Republicans. Our president could have stood up like a leader and commander and absolutely denied that from happening. He did nothing until it was made public. In my mind they are all a bunch of lying thieves out for no one but themselves. Our founding forefathers are rolling in their graves over the destruction of this country and the loss of rights, freedoms and respect for this country. Once we used to be the most respected government in the world, now we are a laughing stock. How sad for us. We have no leadership and that goes for both parties. Enough of the slinging and start accepting responsiblity all the way around.

    1. Hi Lorraine.

      Well, you've said more than a mouthful, and I don't know that I can respond to it all, but I'll try and address what I see as your overall message--Obamacare isn't what it seems, and both parties are at fault for the fighting over it.

      I'd like to say that as an informed citizen, of course I've read all 10,000 plus pages of ACA legislation, but no. As an HR professional, I've read my fair share of legalese, but in this case, I'm trusting my duly elected representatives, as well as various legal and healthcare experts, to interpret the law for me.

      And I'm sorry, but nope, Republicans started this one. I agree that Congress in general is acting pretty disgracefully (and their approval rate reflects that), but the Republicans struck the first blow by starting a fight they couldn't win and dragging everyone else into it.

      Do we need solutions more than finger pointing right now? Sure. But one solution would be for the Republicans to back off of their dumb crusade and handle this thing properly. There's a way to disagree with a law you perceive as bad, and this ain't it.