Friday, August 09, 2013

Government Shut Down - The GOP Obsession with Obamacare

So far many of the dire warnings of the GOP demagogues about Obamacare have failed to come to fruition and in a number of states it appears that premiums will be less expensive that the doomsday Cassandras predicted.  It seems that other than the Tea Party/Christofascist crowd, the only folks screaming are greedy business owners who view employees as modern day serfs and similarly greedy doctors who claim poverty while living far better than most of the populace (I have yet to meet a poor doctor in my legal practice - I tend to avoid them as clients because most are obnoxious and don't want to pay for services rendered).  So why is the GOP willing to shut down the federal government that will harm vast numbers of individuals and businesses?  A column in the Washington Post looks at the GOP obsession with destroying Obamacare and throwing millions of Americans back into an uninsured status. Here are highlights:

With the right wing in full-throttle defund-Obamacare mode, everyone seems to be wondering whether the August recess will bring a rerun of the now-mythical Summer of ’09, when the Tea Party came into its own and changed the national conversation on health care. One question seems to be whether the continuing Obamacare obsession will eclipse immigration reform.

But the Asheville Citizen Times of North Carolina offers an account of something else entirely: A GOP Congressman, Patrick McHenry, getting confronted by a constituent — one Skip Edwards — who is upset with his votes to repeal Obamacare, because of his own medical and financial situation. What’s particularly interesting is Rep. McHenry’s claim that he supports parts of the Affordable Care Act, chiefly the bit prohibiting discrimination against people with preexisting conditions:

Edwards and his wife, both 63, had health insurance until he lost his job during the recessio
n and the East Asheville couple found themselves in financial trouble despite staying relatively healthy.

Edwards and others wondered why McHenry would vote against a plan they feel is better than nothing at all. He said he would not vote for something he feels is bad policy.

McHenry floated a few familiar GOP solutions — allowing the buying of insurance across state lines and increasing competition — but Edwards said he wasn’t satisfied.

It’s easy to rail about Obamacare’s evils inside the safe confines of the conservative media echo chamber. But it may not be so easly for GOP lawmakers to explain to their constituents that they support repealing specific provisions in Obamacare, i.e., the ban on discrimination against preexisting conditions. 

[A]s unpopular as Obamacare admittedly remains, the battle over health care in 2014 may also be partly decided by the prosaic question of which side is perceived as genuinely wanting to fix our health care system. It remains to be seen whether suggestions such as those McHenry offered will be enough.

On top of this, conservative are putting heavy pressure on GOP lawmakers not just to keep trying to repeal Obamacare, but to shut down the government to force an Apocalyptic stand against the law. If it’s hard to explain repealing certain parts of the law, how will GOP lawmakers explain shutting down the government to defund it?

It also remains to be seen whether such episodes will get anywhere near the play that will likely be lavished on tales of Obamacare implementation going awry. Sure, constituents who don’t want the law’s provisions taken away may not be wearing funny three cornered hats or holding up signs proclaiming that tyranny has arrived on American shores, so they may not get much media attention. But surely they are an important part of the story, too.

Truth be told, the GOP simply doesn't care about a vast portion of the American population.  We're disposable garbage,  especially if we are black, Hispanic, or gay.

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