03 October 2013

The ACA and the shutdown -- a personal note

The government shutdown is dominating the blogosphere and the political news-aggregation sites to the point that I'm already sick of the subject; it's hard to imagine coming up with anything to say about the situation that hasn't already been said.  But I do have a personal reaction.

I will never, ever forgive the Republican party for this.  Faced with a program that, imperfect as it is, will do more to improve life in this country than any previous government initiative since Social Security and Medicare, they've tried every possible maneuver to destroy it -- now even refusing to fund the government unless they get their way, and threatening to do the same with the debt-ceiling vote in a couple of weeks (which could force the government into default, with disastrous consequences).  It's not quite as outrageous as if a gang of teabaggers had hijacked a passenger plane and were threatening to shoot the passengers unless the ACA is repealed, but it's not much of a step up from there.

Based on preliminary research, I myself* could probably get decent insurance through the exchange that would cost $150 a month less than my current COBRA payment, perhaps as much as $400 a month less.  Multiply that savings by millions of people in a similar position, and you can see the benefit to individuals and the stimulative effect on the economy as a whole.  And there are tens of millions more who, unlike me, are in desperate straits -- they have no health insurance at all or can only barely pay for it (here's an example).  Now they finally have a chance to get it affordably.  And the Republicans are fighting like hell to take that chance away.  Every other developed country on Earth has some kind of health coverage for its entire population.  Why can't we do that?  Why are we the only advanced nation that can't do that???  Because of the Republicans.

I used to root for moderate and sane Republicans who I hoped, if they got the upper hand, could reform the party.  I don't feel that way any more.  I'm done with that.  I don't think the party can be reformed, and it wouldn't deserve the chance even if it could be.  It's become a cancer that needs to be cut out of the political system.  More immediately, as I said last week, it's imperative that the Democrats make no concessions.  Yielding to hostage-takers just means more hostage-taking later.  We can't let these people manufacture a crisis every few months whenever some vital vote needs to be taken.  Right-wing pundit Jennifer Rubin, here seen begging us to throw a sop to Boehner so he can back down, is wrong.  We can't let the Republicans save face.  We must not only crush them but publicly humiliate them.  The consequences for what they're doing must be made as severe as possible to ensure that they never dare try it again.

[*I should stress that I'm not personally in a dire financial position.  I'm just using myself as an example since I've looked at the numbers.]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people are slow to learn.

03 October, 2013 09:39  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

We would have a much better run government and a better country for all Americans if all people never voted for a republican again.

03 October, 2013 09:45  
Blogger Ahab said...

Oh, mark my words, the voters WILL remember this fiasco when election time comes. The Republicans will lose spectacularly. And for what? What are they really gaining from this nightmare except smug self-satisfaction?

The more immediate consequences of the government shutdown are hitting close to home for many. A good friend just got furloughed from her job. If the shutdown is long-term, it could stall funding for my workplace, and we'd likely get furloughed too.

03 October, 2013 09:50  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Thanks for the link, Infidel753, I'm linking to your post to try to further enlighten anyone who comes to read at my place.

It is very curious to skim the teabaggers' blogs and see that many of them are NOT writing about the shut down. Very curious. Perhaps they're too ashamed of the stupidity coming from the minority of a minority.

I think they've cut off their heads to spite their bodies.

03 October, 2013 10:31  
Blogger Kay Dennison said...

I used to try to be an independent but gave it up as a futile. Thanks for the link!!!

03 October, 2013 15:07  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"Why are we the only advanced nation that can't do that???"

I can't count the number of times I've asked a rightwinger that same question, and each time I get no answer. They have no answer. Their opposition to universal health care for Americans is a visceral hatred of anything the government can do to help its citizens.

It's a basic fundamental difference between the successful and 21st century blue states and the poor red evangelical driven southern states.

We will never, I'm afraid, reconcile this.

03 October, 2013 17:40  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon: Apparently.

Jerry: Exactly so. They're not a normal opposition party any more but a nest of nihilistic vandals.

Ahab: I hope they will. The government is never going to function properly until the Republicans have been turfed out of any position of power from which they can obstruct anything. California showed it can be done.

Shaw: Thanks for the link. I suspect the teabaggers aren't covering this as much because they're having trouble keeping their talking points straight. Fox posted some articles spinning the shutdown as the Democrats' fault, only to have their commenters embrace it as a great tea Party victory.

It's not even only a matter of the most advanced nations. Your daughter, whose case you posted about, would actually have gotten a better deal in the old Soviet Union than here. Their medical technology was not up to Western standards, but even they had universal coverage.

Kay: Unfortunately the reality is that there are only two real choices. I wish we had a viable socialist party, but we simply don't. And it's very clear which of the two main parties has to be kept out of power no matter what.

04 October, 2013 08:59  
Anonymous Emily said...

I have a personal Obamacare story too that I would like to share.

A few months ago, my husband almost lost his job. We get health insurance through him, so I wanted to be proactive and try to find insurance before anything went down. I called a few places and learned that I was uninsurable because I had a pre-existing condition. I was pregnant. I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around this. Pregnant women cannot buy an individual insurance plan until January when more provisions of the ACA kick in. Which meant if my husband lost his job, our choices would be COBRA or uninsured. I had to figure out which would be more expensive.

(Turns out I had a spontaneous abortion, husband didn't lose his job [yet], and we're moving to one of those developed counties you mention that actually has a health care plan.)

So now, every time I read about someone wanting to repeal Obamacare, I take it personally. It is personal. They want to repeal it but don't seem to have a plan in place to fix the problems caused (at least in part) by insurance companies caring more about their bottom line than healthcare.

05 October, 2013 05:19  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Emily: You have every right to take the actions of these cruel and vicious people personally. There are far too many stories like yours. I hope you'll have a better situation where you're going.

05 October, 2013 06:21  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

"We can't let the Republicans save face. We must not only crush them but publicly humiliate them. The consequences for what they're doing must be made as severe as possible to ensure that they never dare try it again."

I agree completely. My fear is that this, from the descendants of the people who started the Civil War, is likely to take a good deal more than a couple of legislative setbacks. How much more, we will soon learn, as much as we'd rather skip the lesson.

07 October, 2013 12:10  

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