COLORADO SPRINGS, September 30, 2013—After the Senate voted down the House bill to fund the government less Obamacare, House Republicans Saturday quickly passed another bill. It looks as though Speaker Boehner has found his mojo.
“The House worked late into the night Saturday to prevent a government shutdown, Speaker Boehner explained. “And the Senate now must move quickly, today, to do the same.”
However, Senate Majority Leader Reid announced the bill was dead on arrival; the president vowed to veto it. The looming crisis is so bad, he went golfing Saturday. The senate did not meet Sunday.
It is pretty hard to have a negotiation if one side refuses to negotiate.
In fact, it looks like Republicans and a few Democrats in the House managed to do exactly what the American people want. Americans don’t want a government shutdown and they don’t want Obamacare.
The House’s new bill will:
- Keep the government running by funding everything except Obamacare.
- Delay the president’s health care law for one year.
- Permanently repeal Obamacare’s tax on medical devices—everything from pacemakers to braces.
- Ensure our military men and women get paid no matter what happens in budget negotiations.
The first point was in the previous bill. The second point is interesting because the president has already delayed health care mandates on big businesses and exempted big labor as well. This bill delays the law for all Americans. What could be more egalitarian than that? Democrats claim to be all about equality.
Meanwhile, in a rather petulant speech Friday, the president said that the health care law can’t be stopped. Never say never to Americans—and never tell them something can’t be done.
The president forgets, perhaps, that Americans are the most inventive problem-solvers in the world. The modern world would simply not exist without what used to be called Yankee ingenuity. A majority of Americans didn’t want Obamacare and never less than a majority still oppose it. Only about a third are in favor. An entrenched authoritarian elite are determined to force this nationalized health care law on us whether we want it or not.
Still, he has a point about the funding of it. Funding for Obamacare doesn’t come exclusively from Congressional appropriations. The sources include the more than two dozen taxes in the bill itself—including the tax on “medical devices” and tanning bed visits, which took effect almost immediately. The interest on government-owned student loans goes to fund Obamacare as well.
The president also warned that a government shutdown “…has real effects on real people.” Indeed it does. A government “shutdown,” however, doesn’t really mean the government just stops. Essential services for safety and security will go on. Threatening not to pay the military is a tactic designed to put pressure on conservative legislators. If the military are not paid, it will be the choice of the commander-in-chief not to pay them.
Bethany Diegelman is a 22-year old student and restaurant worker in North Carolina. She says that most of her friends in retail and restaurants have had their hours cut. Some are moving back in with their parents. Obamacare? They don’t support it—if they even know what it is and how it effects them. That’s real impact on real people.
The ball is squarely in the Senate’s court. Facing reelection only once in six years, senators need not be as responsive to the people as the House is. Since the Seventeenth Amendment, however, senators are now elected by the people and they will face the voters eventually.
It won’t be pretty.
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