Monday, September 30, 2013

When the Loons Run the Assylum

In the past government shutdowns, seventeen in all, have been done as a matter of fiscal policy.  That is to say, the two parties in the Legislative Branch would argue over proposed spending.  Obamacare, as it is ridiculously called, is not a proposition.  It is bloody black and white, settled law.

The Affordable Care Act was voted on and passed by both Houses of Congress.  The Republicans are doing a good deal of whining about the Act being passed in a partisan way.  Anyone who is tempted to consider this relevant might want to go back through the last four years and see how many GOP partisan votes have been taken in the House and the Senate to obstruct this president.  The Republicans would assert that this is the right of the opposition party.  Fair enough.  However, it is also their responsibility.  They have obstructed the creation of the very jobs they were sent to Washington to facilitate because of a need to paralysis President Obama’s agenda at every turn on ideological grounds.  It is rank hypocrisy for them accuse the other party of doing exactly what they have done to protect themselves from primary challenges on the Right; not to mention to the detriment of the Working Class in this country.

Following passage of the Affordable Care Act it was signed by President Obama.  I don’t always agree with the man, but he is President of these United States just as sure as Bush, Clinton or Reagan was president.  When the president signs a bill it is no longer a bill, but the law. 

The Affordable Care Act was then challenged in the Supreme Court; yes we still have one – sort of.  It was upheld on a straight party line vote save one.  The Chief Justice, John Roberts a Conservative and a Bush appointee, voted to uphold the law.

The law was ratified in effect by the American people in a general election.  Mr. Obama ran on his signature law.  Mr. Romney ran against it.  Mr. Obama won that contest, and not by a small majority.  What is going on today is not a legitimate debate over fiscal policy; it is legislative blackmail and should be viewed as felonious like any other form of extortion.

This foolishness about demanding that the President or members of his staff or Democrats in general give up their healthcare and sign on to the Affordable Care Act is moronic on its face.  The Affordable Care Act was designed and implemented to offer coverage to the uninsured.  People with insurance do not – I repeat do not – need to sign up for coverage under the Act.  That would be like establishing affordable, low-income housing for every homeless person in this country, then demanding that Steven Spielberg move out of his palatial home in L.A. and into that housing.  The effect of this healthcare act on the insured will be to help stop the cost shifting that often results in higher premiums when the uninsured use the Emergency Room for primary care and can’t afford to pay. Hence, the name “The Affordable Care Act.”  I realize that the Tea Party and the Republicans who are terrified of and enslaved to them aren’t the brightest bulbs on the tree, but how goddamned difficult can it be?

Finally, the polls that show most Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act are in the words of the legal profession, incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial in the presence of the propaganda and lies perpetrated by the Right and passively disseminated by the media.  Ask Mr. Chuck Todd about the lack of responsibility his profession has with regard to informing the American people of the truth.

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