How Far It Has Gone….

As Maddowblog has noted,” this has simply never happened before. There is no precedent in American history for Congress approving a massive new public benefit, a president signing it into law, the Supreme Court endorsing the benefit’s legality, and then having an entire political party actively and shamelessly working to sabotage the law.”

The law, of course, is the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.”

It isn’t only the 39 votes to repeal the ACA–votes for repeal that GOP Congressmen know are entirely symbolic and will die in the Senate.  As several media sources have reported, Republican Congressmen are now refusing to help constituents who call their offices with questions. “We know how to forward a phone call,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). He added, “[A]ll we can do is pass them back to the Obama administration. The ball’s in their court. They’re responsible for it.”

Then there are the Governors, like Indiana’s own Mike Pence, who are refusing to participate in Medicaid expansion, even though such refusal costs their state millions of federal dollars it would otherwise receive. (I won’t even dignify the Pence Administration’s recent bald-face lies about projected costs of individual health insurance policies.)

My question is: why?

The GOP has no alternative plan to offer, possibly because the ACA was the GOP’s approach, back when the party was composed of adults focused upon solving real problems. They don’t even pretend to have a different solution to a healthcare crisis that threatened to destroy  the American economy while leaving fifty million Americans uninsured.

They don’t want to solve the  problem. They just want to undo the solution that was cobbled together by that black guy in the White House and ushered through the process by the woman who was briefly Speaker–the solution that was acceptable to the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies that had to be placated if anything was to be done.

I have real problems with Obamacare as policy, but I recognize that it is infinitely better than nothing. I also recognize that it is the best we could do politically. I am absolutely incapable of understanding what motivates these people who simply want to repeal it, without putting anything in its place. They clearly don’t give a rat’s you-know-what about the people who had no access to healthcare before the ACA. They don’t care about the small businesses that couldn’t compete for good employees because they couldn’t afford to offer healthcare. They don’t care about the fact that 50% of the personal bankruptcies that cost businesses dearly and are a drag on the economy are a result of medical costs incurred by uninsured and underinsured Americans. They don’t care that before the ACA, America was spending 2 1/2 times more than the next most expensive country for a system ranked 37th in the world.

All they seem to care about is beating that guy in the White House. If people have to suffer or die as a consequence, that’s tough. If the economy has to take a hit, so be it. Nothing, evidently, is as important as thwarting Barack Obama.

That’s how far it has gone.


  1. Yes. It makes so much sense to get this program going. The “R” people claim to be pro-business but this is a huge issue for business. GM, for example, pays an additional $1,500.00 in health care costs when they build a new car in the US vs building it in Canada. How is THAT good for America? These boobs just cannot stand the fact that a smart black guy is in the big chair. It drives them crazy. I had the same reaction when we had a DUMB white guy but that is another story. I have seen too many people suffer for years because they do not have access to medical care. It is really sad.

  2. Is there any law, ordinance, regulation or legislation that does NOT need some alteration, changesor updating. Even the Amendments could use some work to bring them into the 21st Century. There is money being made by Congress acting like fools and working for lobbyists; and they do know what they are doing by continuing this useless waste of time – they know we know what they are doing and why but they are stalling the clock till 2016. The lobbyists are winning this battle of wits by using the nitwits under John Boehner’s leadership. Money, money, money! There was a program aired on 60 Minutes not long ago about hospital emergency room workers being ordered to admit 20% of all ER patients, 50% of all ER patients over 65 years of age and to order as many unnecessry tests as possible. One of Sheila’s commenters reported this same issue was aired on NPR. My 49 hour in-patient stay in the hospital in April put me in the 50% of all ER patients over 65 years of age. The ER doctor who took over my case ignored my illness, decided I had heart disease and admitted me; he then ordered numerous expensive cardiac tests. When the actual cardiologist visited me in my hospital room he informed me all my tests were normal and I would be released that day. At the hospital scheduled appointment with him after my release, he reported all tests normal, I had no heart issues and my problems were all caused by the severe dehydration from a viral flu – a diagnosis that should have quickly and easily been reached (and probably was). My 49 hours in the hospital totaled over $20,000; most of which was billed to Medicare. The GOP is also trying to destroy Medicare. None of these problems are connected to the ACA (call it Obamacare if you wish) but are indicative of avarice and greed. Where did the original orders to hospital ER staffs originate? As long as Congress can lie, stall and scare the public regarding ACA costs, the profits from these unnecessary hospitalizations and tests will escalate and fill whose pockets? As with most criminal activities (and what Congress is doing/not doing should be criminalized); FOLLOW THE MONEY!

  3. Amen, JoAnn. I have no doubt that it won’t be long before a journalist gets a big award because he/she followed the money on that trail. Just lift the lid and one will find all manner of crawling things under it, and some of those things will go to jail.

    I can understand how the Republican “leadership” is so desperate. They have made such a scene about how bad conditions will be, trying to scare people with the notion that it’s “socialism” (=antichrist), they have staked their future and credibility on those fears. Now, it looks like great things will happen, with much lower insurance rates and much greater access, and when that happens, they stand to lose everything. The big enemies of the law (e.g., Mr. Pence) are beginning to look bad (or worse than he was). If the Republican right wing was a company, it would be a lousy investment.

    Somehow, I have the impression that we are seeing the death throes of a terrible monster.

  4. I’m curious why you won’t discuss the edict Obama handed down saying that the mandates for Obamacare would not take affect until 2015 after the next mid-year elections, while individuals will still be subject to the mandates next January. In all my studies of the law, I never read where the President has authority to decide when a law takes effect based on political convenience. Of course, I don’t recall you questioning any of the many unconstitutional, illegal and unethical acts he has committed since becoming president.

  5. JoAnn, Are you unaware of the millions of dollars in campaign contributions Obama received that tracked waivers requested by special interest groups from Obamacare that were ultimately approved by this administration?

  6. A buddy of mine owns a software company in Canada. They were recently hiring and recruiting heavily in the US. Their main selling point to US recruits? The low cost and quality health care available in Canada.

    Might be a job creation strategy, Gov. Pence.

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