So, here we are in 2013, in the middle of a recession and the government is what? Shutdown!
The Historical Facts about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
I do try to be diplomatic. So on that note, let’s start with the facts. In February of 2009, President Obama announced his intention to reform healthcare for the United States. Throughout the year of 2009, President Obama negotiated with Republicans on what should go into the new healthcare bill.
By December 2009, despite opposition from Senate Republicans, the bill passed through in a 60-39 vote. After a year long debate in the House of Representatives, the bill was passed in a 219-212 vote in March 2010. President Obama signed the bill into law that same month. In August of 2011 the 11th Circuit Court ruled that parts of the law were unconstitutional. The law is appealed and the United State Court of Appeals ruled that the law was constitutional. Then a petition took the law to the Supreme Court (the highest court of our land) and after 3 days of debate in June 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the law was constitutional, therefore, making it officially a law.
That is how our legislative process works. All legal and constitutional efforts that could be taken in opposition of the Affordable Care Act (derogatorily called Obamacare) were taken. In spite of President Obama stating in 2009 that he did not want healthcare reform to wait another year, he allowed Republicans to fight the bill for 2 years. Ofcourse, this was in the interest of bipartisanship and allowed the opportunity for Republicans to express their concerns. However, those concerns and objections were dismissed. That was over a year ago.
Conservative Objections to The Affordable Care Act
Conservatives, ever the dog carrying a bone, just won’t let go. They continue to object to The Affordable Care Act with ambiguity. While they argue that it is unwise spending and that it calls for a raise in taxes, they have not explained how better to fund the bill. They most definitely do not discuss the fact that the bill calls for a gradual raise in taxes that takes place before the scheduled spending that the bill requires. This means that the taxes would pay for the spending and will not actually increase the debt or our general spending.
Conservatives also argue that the bill represents “socialized medicine” and “big government.” Both of these terms are merely propaganda to provoke negative public opinion. The truth is that our government already is big and many of the issues conservatives lobby for actually offer more power to the government (i.e. making abortion illegal, making birth control ineligible for insurance coverage, banning sagging pants). “Big government” as they call it is not necessarily a bad thing, given the irresponsibility of most of our institutions…have we forgotten how this recession began and the collapse of Wall Street.
In recent efforts to thwart the already effective law, Republicans have staged a coup to force The White House to defund, derail, or in some way dismantle the bill. Because the Obama Administration refuses to make any revisions to the bill, the Republican-dominated Senate is refusing to fund the government until the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives approves amendments to the bill (one suggestion delays the enactment of the law for another year).
For the first time since 1995, the government is “shutdown.” This means that 800,000 government employees will be sent home without pay. Government employees who work in agencies that are deemed essential will continue to work; however, their paychecks will be delayed.
When questioned about these extremist actions, Republicans spout a righteously indignant rant about protecting the will of the American people; however, the facts contradict this philosophy.
The facts shown through polling data expose the 2 major Republican lies that are their only defense for dragging the country into this condition.
A poll taken by CNBC on the night before the shutdown began showed that 38% of the country opposes The Affordable Care Act and 44% is in favor of the bill. Hence, the majority of the American people want the act (Republican lie #1).
The poll also showed that of the 38% who oppose the bill 19% were willing to the government shutdown in order to defund the bill and 59% did not want such an extreme action taken just to oppose The Affordable Care Act. Hence, the majority of Americans who agree with Republicans view if the bill are not in favor of these tactics (Republican lie #2).
What Republicans are doing is actually unconstitutional. It is an act of treason and/or sedition against the country. Quite honestly once this battle is resolved I think those officials responsible should be tried in court for their actions.
In order to have “small government” the general social consensus would have to include some measure if social responsibility that would inspire people to do “the right thing.” However in a capitalist country (where competition rules supreme), it almost impossible to foster the sense of community that would make people choose the greater good over their own interests; therefore, in a case like that the government had to force a social obligation such as what the Obama administration is doing with The Affordable Care Act. America is a long way off for have a majority interest in providing for and caring for the public. We use this antiquated notion about America being a place where anyone can make it to justify our selfishness and individualism. But how asinine is it to believe that country built on capitalist competition, ridden with prejudice and discrimination, and hellbent on selfish individualism has interest in the greater good of the people and can and will create a sense of unity and community. It can’t. The people’s best shot is having leaders like President Obama who can see beyond their own well being and fight for the interests of the people. I am not in favor of or pleased with the government shutdown but I do think Democrats should allow this country to fall face first before they give in to the Republicans. Those liars have proven that they would cut off their nose to spite their face.
I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,
An Angry Black Man