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Sat Aug 24, 2013, 08:11 PM

Like a Car Wreck in Slow Motion: A Party Divided and Dysfunctional

By Dr. Brian Carr
President, Behavioral Health Associates, Lubbock, Texas, 1991-Present
Chairman, City of Lubbock Board of Health, 2013
Submitted on August 24, 2013 - 8:13am

With the warning yesterday from Speaker John Boehner about the danger of using the threat of a government shutdown to stop the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, AKA Obamacare) we are witness to the division and implosion of the GOP.

Understanding that the best predictor of the future is the past the Speaker reminded his fellow Republicans of the political backlash they suffered in 1995 after forcing a government shut down.

Hedging his bets the Speaker emphasized that no final decision has been made on exactly how to oppose the rollout of the ACA. He appeared to be fearful of direct opposition to the Extreme Right of his party.

Just before the Speaker’s call for calm he received a letter from Majority Leader Eric Cantor, signed by a third of the Republican caucus urging him to oppose any annual spending bills that include funding for the ACA.

Championed by Republican leaders including Senator Ted Cruz the frenzy among potential presidential candidates in the party is rising to a fevered pitch. Without compromise between Congress and the President on new legislation to fund federal programs, the government will shut down on October 1. If such spending bills are proposed that remove funding for the ACA it is unlikely that the President will sign them. Neatly, the Extreme Right has now framed the argument as the President being the one responsible for the shutdown if he doesn’t gut the principle success of his administration.

Boehner advocated a plan in which Congress passes a short-term measure that funds the government until December while maintaining the steep cuts already occurring in the spending as a result of the “sequester.” Because of this sequester over 57,000 children are now without early education programs including Head Start.

Republicans are clearly committed to the repeal of the ACA without offering any solutions to the 48.6 million Americans without health insurance. A part of their current campaign is to ask that people forego health coverage as a form of protest. Do you think any of the Republicans are lacking health insurance. Will they get the checkbook out for those who heed their advice and then become sick without the ability to obtain regular care?

One idea under consideration is tying approval of an increase in the country's borrowing limit to agreement by the Obama administration to delay implementation of the measure.

An aide to Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, told Reuters on Wednesday that the debt limit was a good "leverage point" to try to force action on Obamacare.

Taking an action so that the government doesn’t pay for services agreed to in the past is not the proper way to oppose the ACA. On the other hand the Extreme Right, if successful, will hand the President his best opportunity to refine and restore the ACA to the original design so that it is even a better solution to the problem of health coverage.


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Cross-posted in Good Reads forum.

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Reply Like a Car Wreck in Slow Motion: A Party Divided and Dysfunctional (Original post)
TexasTowelie Aug 2013 OP
Thinkingabout Aug 2013 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 08:38 PM

1. Do you think a veto by Obama can be overridden? I think Boehner is looking for a soft bed to fall

On and the bed can be made up of sensible Republicans and Democrats. The GOP knows disaster is looming if the government shuts down.

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