Spin, spin, spin, spin. It’s enough to keep your head spinning! Let’s try and make some sense of the issue of Obamacare and a possible government shutdown.
First, there is a growing chorus from a wide range of political viewpoints that Obamacare is too costly and, at the very least, just not working. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Senate Finance chair and original Obama-care sponsor, has said it is going to be a “train wreck.”
Labor unions are opposing it and now we learn that unless the administration helps pick up more of the tab, congressional staff members will take early retirement and desert the ship rather than go under the Obamacare program.
The polls are showing a vast majority of Americans would prefer to see Obamacare repealed or modified.
Each year the Congress is supposed to fund the various governmental agencies. For years the Congress has been unable to get this work done and so members pass continuing resolutions — CRs — to make funds available and to keep the government’s doors open.
Early this year, Bill suggested a way to stop the implementation of Obamacare while also fully funding the federal government. His idea was to add an amendment to the CR that, while fully funding the federal government, would prohibit the use of the money to “implement, administer, promote, or enforce” the provisions of Obamacare.
Back then nobody was listening and Congress passed a CR and fully funded Obamacare. But now some in Congress are listening!
Sixty House members and a small group of senators are pushing to do what Bill suggested back in February. But there is opposition. The Republican leadership is concerned that, just like in the mid-1990s, the GOP will get blamed for shutting down the federal government. They are living in fear rather than focusing on what is the right thing to do!
It would seem they are more interested in getting re-elected (being politicians) than they are in representing us.
If the Congress were to pass a CR that fully funds the federal government but prohibits the use of funds for the Obamacare program the President, and the press, will try to blame the GOP for shutting down the government. However, that would not be the truth.
The only thing such a CR would shut down is funding of Obamacare. Everything else would be fully funded. So, if the government were shut down (e.g., National Parks closed, the Patent and Trademark Office shut down, air controllers sent home, border patrol agents not paid) who would really be responsible? The Congress would have fully funded all of these agencies and programs.
Would it not be the President who should take the blame?
Obamacare was ill-conceived, and the president admits it cannot be fully implemented.
It has major flaws and is opposed by a wide-range of Americans. Meanwhile the House continues to take symbolic votes to repeal it, knowing full well that doing so has no real effect.
The question is when and who will stand up and take an action that will count? Which congressmen have the character to make the right choice? Only time will tell.
Next week we will focus on why Obama-care is so damaging … stay tuned!
Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius and John Gay are writing a series of columns on timely issues for today. All three ran in the 14th Congressional District primary.