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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It’s Not About Obamacare

This budget battle has always been about political posturing for the Republicans. Every single legislator who voted to defund Obamacare knew that it would go nowhere in the Senate. I don’t buy the current line that some Republicans were trying to teach Ted Cruz a lesson by putting the ball in his court. I’m not going to overlook the fact that the GOP has voted  42 times to repeal, defund or delay Obamacare. Several GOP senate candidates are running on a platform to defund Obamacare. It leaves other presidential candidates the room to use another tactic that will help them in 2016. For example, Senator Rand Paul is trying to make the federal government the boogeyman to appease the government hating group of his party. He said Justice Roberts and federal employees should be put on Obamacare. Never mind that Obamacare was never intended to take away a plan employees were already on. It was always meant as a vehicle to lower health insurance cost and to insure more people.

The chart shows that workers were being moved to part –time status way before Obamacare came along. Besides small companies will get an extra year to work out all their problems before they will be penalized,so that’s got nothing to do with funding the government this year.

Joe Scarborough, Pat Toomey, Nicole Wallace and others have stated repeatedly how unpopular Obamacare is, and they will cite polls to back up their statements. The three conveniently leave out the polls saying that 59% of Americans do not want a government shutdown to repeal Obamacare. This mornings "CNBC poll had Americans opposing defunding Obamacare(without a shut down) by a plurality of 44 percent to 38 percent.”

This morning Joe Scarborough put himself in the same company with the Wall Street Journal, Scott walker, Pat Toomey, and other reasonable conservative voices who warned the Republican legislators about shutting down the government over Obamacare. Much to the chagrin of Joe Scarborough, James Carville reminded Joe, that GOP ideas and votes are vetted on talk radio and then are implemented by the tea party. It’s obvious the current GOP is not listening to the reasonable conservative voices.

Joe Scarborough hates Ted Cruz about as much as he hates President Obama. When it was pointed out that Ted Cruz is a pretty intelligent person who is saying the right words to the base and that it just might get him through a GOP presidential primary, Joe went ballistic. He said that he didn’t want his party to make the same mistake as the Democrats did when they elected an inexperienced senator to be their nominee. When some members of the panel said they were happy on how things turned out for the democrats; Joe had to go commercial break before he completely lost it.

The fact is 80% of Americans will see very little change when the healthcare law is fully implemented. The strongest disapproval is coming from those who are on Medicare, and they won’t be affected at all by the law. Yes, the young healthy employees who hardly ever use their plan will probably think it’s too expensive and those who will now get health insurance and use it a lot, will think it’s God sent.

This current stalemate can’t possibly be about defunding Obamacare because  Paul Ryan’s budget includes savings from Obamacare to balance it. If they were to defund Obamacare, then the GOP would have to rewrite their budget and they have already gutted all the social programs including $40 billion cuts (over the next 10 years) in food stamps.

I wonder how Catholic legislators interpret the latest words from Pope Francis when he talked about the evils of income inequality. Then again we can talk about the obsession with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception issues. I still favor a secular government but some of those legislators use Bible quotations to justify their reason for cutting social programs.

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