Over and over and over again Republicans have tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying that it would be a catastrophic blow to the US economy and our jobs market. But if the GOP (specifically the Tea Party) actually cared about the economy, would they really push forward legislation that tied increasing the debt ceiling to defunding the Affordable Care Act? If Obamacare was something that would kill jobs and send us into a downward spiral, wouldn’t they have the strategic sense to just let it happen and then campaign on the aftermath?
I’m willing to admit that the Affordable Care Act is confusing to many. Because of how massive the bill is, most people have not read it, nor do they understand it. I’ll even wager that even most of the people who are railing against it don’t understand it either. They’ve claimed that it will cause companies to slash benefits and push their employees onto the public dollar, but isn’t that what companies like Wal-Mart have been doing for years now?
Under this legislation, people cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions. My daughter who suffers from severe asthma can be on my private insurance policy instead of relying on Medicaid, which was the situation before. If I were to have a horrific illness that required months of hospitalization, they cannot drop me citing a lifetime maximum. Healthcare insurance companies are held to the 85% payout rules, something I recently heard Blue Cross and Blue Shield specifically mention in an advertisement on a local conservative talk radio show, acting as if they were somehow a great insurance company because of that payout – while completely omitting the fact that it was a piece of the Affordable Care Act.
I’m not a politician, but I know how to play checkers, and I also know how to play chess. It’s quite clear that the GOP doesn’t know how to play either. Instead, they’re playing this political game like a desperate cheap Scotch-soaked Las Vegas card player pushing all in on the worst poker hands at 3 in the morning, hoping their bluff will pay up. They’ve sunk millions of dollars into social media campaigns and TV spots trying to convince us that death panels exist, or that we would be forced off our current insurance plans into healthcare shortages similar to the empty supermarkets of Communist Russia. They fight against individuals receiving subsidies for healthcare while fighting for subsidies for Big Oil and other corporate interests. It makes absolutely no sense in a real world argument. Seriously, if Obamacare is truly as bad as they claim it would be, why not let it happen and then ride the fallout and public anger into huge gains in the House and Senate in 2014, as well as the White House in 2016?
They doubled down on fighting legislation that will likely be held in high regard as a piece of President Obama’s legacy, while presenting not one piece of memorable legislation that has passed since 2010. The GOP has done absolutely nothing to present a better or even viable alternative to something that was once their own idea. I can only conclude that they know what good will come out of this for millions of Americans, and they’re willing to shut down the government in order to play their final bluff.
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