Fast Focus: 'Should Congress hold the budget hostage to kill Obamacare?' It's already a law

October 6, 2013 

The Affordable Care Act is law. It is not a proposal. It is not a bill before Congress. It is not open for debate. That ship has sailed. It was passed by Congress, signed by the President of the United States and found to be constitutional by the Supreme Court. If the Republicans, or anyone else, want to change the ACA or even repeal it, then that will require more legislation. They need to use the process that is in place to argue their points and make their case. ACA is not a bargaining chip nor should it be used to pay ransom to rescue the government and economy.

Conservatives constantly say that the American people don't want "Obamacare;" the American people are on their side; they speak for the American people; etc. They speak for a lot of people but they do not speak for me and they apparently do not speak for the majority of voters. The ACA was passed in the first term of the Obama Administration. In 2012, Barack Obama was re-elected with a firm majority. Voters could have easily shown their disapproval by voting him out and electing a conservative who would repeal ACA. But they didn't. And national polls, both conservative and liberal, have shown that a 70 percent majority of the voters do not approve of linking the ACA and the complete funding of the government.

It's odd to me that the ACA is so despised by conservative factions within Congress. It should be a conservative's dream. It expands health insurance in the free enterprise system and hugely expands the insurance market. Four years ago, insurance companies were fighting to defeat passage of ACA because it would kill their business. Now they are starting to embrace it because they realize how the market for their product is going to expand. That all means money for the industry and we all know who some of the biggest donors are, to both political parties.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives has the power to bring to a vote a continuing resolution that would keep the country running. But the Republican party and the entire political process has been hijacked by a handful of extremists (Tea Party) and the rest of us are held hostage. John Boehner has put the economy at risk just for the sake of appeasing these extremists and keeping his position. I can't count the number of times I have heard him or Mitch McConnell or a dozen other Republicans say that the president has never once submitted a budget to Congress as required by law. That is a blatant falsehood. The truth is, Obama just hasn't submitted a budget that the Republicans like.

If we think this situation is outrageous, just wait till the battle over the debt ceiling. Let the hostage taking begin!

-- GARY HENNE, Kennewick

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service