I’ve written before about how I think that it’s absolutely crazy that we even entertain this idea of the government shutting down here in America, and yet here we are again.
This battle seems more vivid than others in the past simply because of what’s at stake … or at least what the GOP would like to be at stake. They’ve somehow gotten it into their heads that they can use this threat of furlough to de-fund the Affordable Care Act. You know, the one whose public insurance exchanges are set to open tomorrow and will open tomorrow regardless of whether other parts of the government shut down at midnight tonight?
The Republican party has fought and failed to overturn the Affordable Care Act no less than 40 times since it was signed into law back in 2010, even after it was upheld by the US Supreme Court last summer. Now they want to use the threat of putting nearly a million government employees out of work as leverage to get what they haven’t been able to get for the last three and a half years on their own.
Now I have no doubt that the Affordable Care Act is going to have some issues, both in its own execution as well as ancillary problems like how we’ve already seen some employers using it as an excuse to cut benefits and lay the blame elsewhere. But I think that this is an important road for us to go down and hopefully by the time we get a few years into it in full swing, that’s when the lights will finally come on that a single-payer system like the rest of the free world uses is what we really need.
Our government moves very slow, so unfortunately some growing pains are going to be required, but we’ll get there … as long as we stop people from torpedoing the project before it even gets off the ground.
And that’s always been my biggest issue with listening to the Republicans bitch about Obamacare over the last couple of years is although they all claim how it’s going to devastate our economy and small businesses and big businesses and ruin the Constitution and blah blah blah … they’ve never actually stepped forth with a comparable alternative that could actually take the place of the Affordable Care Act that they all loathe so much.
The current status quo is not acceptable where your ability to see the doctor is governed by whether or not you’re able to pay for it afterwards. I had to take my wife to the emergency room unexpectedly last month and they came in asking for payment before she had gotten feedback from the doctor of what was even wrong! Healthcare in America has been fucked for a really long time, and there’s a ton of different issues that all have to be addressed, but we have to start somewhere.
Of course, all of that being said, it’s very not fair that there’s a risk of 800,000 people getting sent home without pay tomorrow because Congress can’t do their job and commit to paying for the expenses that we already committed to. The Affordable Care Act shouldn’t even be on the table, but then again, neither should any of these other jobs at NASA or the EPA or the FDA or the Smithsonian or anywhere else. It’s always been a big pet peeve of mine whenever I hear of companies giving employees mandatory days off to help save a few bucks because I feel that if you can’t guarantee a wage to your employees in the first place, then you don’t deserve to be in the business of having employees working for you.
Because that’s what an employer does – they employ people! 😯
Instead, we’re going to watch them get stuck in the middle of all of this while one party puts blame on the other, citing “Those guys over there don’t care enough to compromise so that you can go back to work!” And that’s why a lot of people hate politicians because they’re not the ones missing out on a paycheck, and no matter how you feel about our healthcare crisis, I get that it’s awful hard to give a shit about the Affordable Care Act when you’re being told that you can’t go back to work at all until one side gives in about it.
Democrats shouldn’t have to give in to the Republicans and agree to de-fund this historic piece of legislation because Republicans shouldn’t even have it on the table in the first place. They need to pass a clean bill that doesn’t mention the Affordable Care Act and makes sure 800,000 government employees who aren’t Congressmen get to continue working tomorrow, and then next week if they want to try in vain for the 400,000th time to repeal the bane to freedom that is Obamacare, then whatever…
That continued inanity among the Republican party is a separate topic altogether, but right now we’ve got people who need to go to work.