MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., September 30, 2013 — The weather is turning as well as the leaves and it must be time for end of Fiscal Year drama in Washington. The Right wing of the Republican Party are voting to prevent Obamacare from being implemented.
This time they are holding the budget — actually a CR, or Continuing Resolution — hostage.
This will in fact shut down the government, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and disrupting the orderly process of the federal government and all that it entails.
This is beingdone again with the full knowledge that the Senate and the President will not go along with it. Someone said that the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing with bad consequences, expecting different results.
The two times the Republicans decided to shut down the government, they ended up being sorry for their actions. In exchange for minor concessions, they lost big time politically.
This time it appears that their latest demand is to delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, by a year. Technically, they would delay funding to implement the provisions of the Affordable Care Act due to start October 1, 2013 with launch of the state exchanges and people signing up for health insurance.
These provisions include the implementation of a system to encourage those not insured to buy health insurance. Each state will have a number of group insurance options from which uninsured citizens can chose.
This act targets those who should have health insurance, but so far, for whatever reason, have decided not to.
Instead, they usually use the emergency room of a hospital to treat acute health problems or are faced with chronic problems that exhaust any financial resources they may have. Such behavior is because it is expensive to buy health insurance as an individual, or because people don’t believe they will get sick.
Obamacare tries to remedy this situation by asking the states to implement exchanges that give individuals a chance to get better premiums by negotiating as a group.
Those in Congress opposed to Obamacare appear to believe that it will not work. Doesn’t it make sense to let Obamacare fail on its own if they are so convinced it will?
It is clear that a last minute TV blitz showing scary commercials that target young people is a sign of desperation. They are reminiscent of the effort to stop Health Care reform in the 1990s and of the Willie Horton ads during the elder Bush’s 1988 campaign.
However, young people of the 21st Century are more sophisticated than that.
Republicans seem to think that the way they brought up this crisis may have different results this time. They believe that public opinion will blame the Democratic Senate and President Obama for the disruption of a shutdown.
They believe that they may get the concessions they want or they may force the hand of their opponents into dismantling or revising PPCA significantly. Maybe they think they don’t have much more to lose.
However, the strategy is too transparent and the American public is not blind.
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, tries to present a critical view of current events. He is on Facebook (Mario Salazar) and Twitter (@chibchaurs).
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