Keith Barnhart: GOP, Tea Partiers fear success of Obamacare
Everything I have witnessed regarding the naysayers of the Obama presidency has come up empty-handed.
They have attacked him on his birth certificate, college transcripts and religious beliefs. They have compared him to Hitler, called him a communist, Muslim and a socialist. They have tried to connect him with the IRS debacle, Benghazi, wire tapping, misuse of drone strikes, the cost of gas, and even accused him of trying to undermine the Second Amendment.
Those attempts, like the 41 times the U.S. House tried to repeal the ACA, have all failed. Is it more likely that Obama has magical powers to have deflected all of this (and a whole lot more) or is it that the GOP and Tea Party are out of touch with reality?
I have been listening to the topic of the government shutdown and the inclusion of the Affordable Care Act in all of this. GOP congressional leaders have espoused the main reason they have insisted on defunding the ACA is, and I quote, " because of the harm it will bring onto the American people." This stance strikes me as a bit odd for three reasons:
1) Funding for the ACA was already in place. This is nothing new. The bill was passed by both houses, congressionally approved, and legally verified by the Supreme Court. On Oct. 1, despite the government shutdown, the program went forward anyway because it was already funded to do so.
The ACA already had been stripped down, compromised, and negotiated, just so at least some form closely resembling the original (which was not designed by Obama, by the way) got passed. The ACA has already begun!
If the GOP had their way to defund it, who exactly would they be helping. It would seem highly more unconstitutional, unethical, illegal and immoral to strip away a health program from millions after they enrolled. The fallout for those people would be catastrophic and certainly not put the GOP in any type of positive light I can see.
2) The government shutdown already has caused more "harm to the American people," and has done so far more than ACA could ever do. So which American people are they referring to?
3) If the ACA is such a failed program before it even gets out of the gate, and not seizing the opportunity to pounce, exemplified by problems with the program's website, why not let the ACA go through as planned, sit back, watch it fail and claim the victory for your party?
The GOP claims to know something the rest of us do not in pontificating (and foreseeing) the horrible damaging effect this will have on the American people. So which people are they trying to protect? The ones who are currently unable to pay their insurances and taxes because of the shutdown, or saving the people from themselves who need insurance, which historically are the same ones they have publicly shown disdain for for being freeloaders?
In my opinion, the success of the ACA will be the defining nail in the coffin for both Tea Party and the GOP, and they are desperate, even at the cost of the people's safety, to do whatever they can to prevent that program's success, especially as the 2014 elections near.
Next, the GOP takes on even a bigger risk by using fear tactics over the debt ceiling and loan default. All of this out of desperation, without any proven concern of how this affects the people, all of this to remain obstinate on deleting the ACA funding from the budget package proposal.
Keith Barnhart is a professional musician and resident of Huntington.
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