Obamacare feud and the government shutdown
Photo from Huffingtonpost.com
By Carla Roman
Asst. Opinions Editor
It has been 18 years since the last time the Government had a shut down. In 1995, the government shut down for 21 days after Democratic President Clinton and the Republican Congress failed to agree over funding for Medicare, education, environment, and the public health for the 1996 federal budget.
This time around the disagreement that has caused the Government shut down on Tuesday, is over far more complex issues that can directly affect our lives. This time the Government has shut down over disagreements concerning Obamacare, which led to an overall disagreement on the federal budget for this coming year.
The Republican and Democratic House for the past few weeks have been bickering over the budget cost for Obamacare. The Republican House is set against including the Obamacare in the fiscal budget, and is proposing major cuts that would delay Obamacare for another year or so.
Three times before the Govt. shutdown the Republican House passed proposals for the federal budget. But all the proposals sought to weaken the Affordable Care Act, by delaying the enforcement of the “individual mandate” in the Affordable Care Act that mandates all individuals to have to get health care.
Republicans had also in the House Proposal, aimed to repeal the Obamacare’s medical device tax. The tax is a 2.3 percent levy mostly on hospital devices, which are approximated to produce over 30 billion in revenue over 10 years.
The Democrats are calling these proposals Anti-Obamacare Amendments and are refusing to agree to them. The Democratic House has declared that it would continue to disapprove on any proposals that sought to make amendments and reforms affecting the Obamacare.
The Republican House continues to disagree on a budget that won’t weaken if not stop Obamacare. It is because of this that the Govt. on Tuesday shut down. Now the question is, when will this shutdown be over and why can’t the Republican house face the fact that Obamacare has passed despite their efforts.
The Government shutdown will (depending on how long it lasts) do the country more bad than good. According to CNN Politics interview with economist Brian Kessler, if the shutdown last as long as three to four weeks it would cost the American economy over 55 billion.
But it seems that the Republican House would rather continue to fight against the already running Obamacare instead of coming to some type of federal budget agreement. The Republican House would rather furlough 800,000 governemtn employees instead of coming to an agreement with the Democratic House.
The shutdown doesn’t put at a stop Social Security checks, snail mail, or the military. But people won’t be able to get passports, gun permits, or federal loans. museums are closed. As are some agency’s serving people with disabilities like Ability One as an example.
Ability one is an agency that helps people that are blind and with other disabilities find employment in nonprofit agencies that sell products and services to the U.S. governement It’s many agencies like this that get shutdown and their workers forcefully furloughed.
This shutdown does more harm to its people than it does help. And rationally speaking, this shutdown makes no sense. Obamacare will continue to work despite the shutdown. Obamacare’s funding comes from new taxes and fees, as well as cost cuts from programs such as Medicare.
So the only reason that it would seem logical for there to be a Govt. shutdown, is if there was an actual disagreement with the federal budget for the upcoming year. But the only disagreement circles around Obamacare, which is currently functioning and will continue to do so.
The Republican House should figure out a new way to show their disapproval of Obamacare. This method only puts to stop 800,000 workers and further jeopardizes the nation’s economy, which is just starting to stabilize.
It is true that some aspects of Obamacare are arguably putting the Obama administration with too much power and say in the health care system. For some, this might seem risky. But for others, that can’t even afford healthcare, Obamacare comes as a blessing.
It’s difficult to say, which side is fighting for the people’s well being. The Republican House must see some issues with Obamacare that they feel would harm our nation, but with that being said, there are great issues and consequences that come with this Govt. shutdown.
It would be nice to think that the Democratic and Republican House can settle this peacefully. But like babies, the Republicans just stubbornly halted the system in hopes that the Democratic House caves. All we can hope as citizens is that one of the Govt. houses decides to settles before this shutdown ruins our economy.