Is anyone keeping track anymore?
These days, it seems that House Republicans vote to delay or repeal the Affordable Care Act – more commonly known as “Obamacare” – on a weekly basis. I think it’s been 37 times, so far, but I may have missed one or two.
These votes aren’t just an exercise in political theater – they are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Estimates of exactly how much all these votes have cost taxpayers vary, from $1.45 million to $1.75 million per vote. But multiply either number by 37 or 38… and gosh, it starts adding up. (Can’t you think of a few other ways the federal government could spend $50+ million?)
Meanwhile, all around America, “Health Insurers Threaten To Increase Premiums, Even As Profits Soar.” In the coming years though, we can hopefully look forward to the Affordable Care Act making health coverage more affordable. Insurance companies’ overhead is estimated to account for 30 cents of every dollar spent on healthcare. (Obamacare, you may remember, includes provisions that limit insurance companies’ profits.)
And if Obamacare is repealed, everyone will expect workers to foot the cost of rising insurance premiums – and do you remember how fast those premiums were rising, before Obamacare was passed?
But as of today, it looks like the Crusade to Repeal Obamacare is moving into the Senate. Today, Texas Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz started making headlines.
Cruz is positioning himself for a possible run for President, and he wants to rally his base by taking an extreme stand on Obamacare. His plan is to either repeal Obamacare or shut down the government.
“The Texan’s strategy is simple enough. Congress needs to pass a so-called continuing resolution to keep the government running by Sept. 30. Republicans, Cruz argues, should refuse to vote for the measure unless it prohibits spending any federal money on the President’s signature legislative accomplishment. If the stance sparks a shutdown, so be it.”
You heard that right: Senator Cruz is willing to play chicken with the entire country’s economy (and credit rating) in a futile attempt to repeal a law that is already helping millions of Americans – even before it is fully implemented.
This is eerily similar to what happened in August 2011, when House Republicans held the entire country hostage over the debt ceiling. They almost closed the government and caused the United States to loose our perfect credit rating.
“If we can actually get Republicans to stand up and fight,” Cruz told reporters over Chick-Fil-A sandwiches at a briefing sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation, “I believe we can win this fight.”
One bright spot: many Senate Republicans – who have more experience than Sen. Cruz – are standing up to question his plan.
- Sen. John McCain called him a ‘Wacko Bird’ for suggesting it.
- Maine Sen. Susan Collins called the plan “totally unrealistic policy”.
- Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn said, “This is misleading the conservative base, because it’s not achievable.”
- North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr called it “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.”
Does Senator Cruz care at all about the American public he has sworn to represent?
Shutting the government down in a temper tantrum over Obamacare will not help the real problems facing Americans right now. This type of obstructionism is exactly why Congress has the worst approval rating in history.
Why can’t Sen. Cruz take a stand about something that will help Americans like raising the minimum wage, or stopping the cuts to Social Security?
Why can’t House Republicans quit wasting time – and taxpayers’ money – taking their weekly symbolic vote?
Is there something in the water down there in DC, that Republicans keep getting more and more radicalized – and further and further away from the voters they are supposed to represent?
Speaking of “radicalized”… were you looking for another reason to oppose Bill O’Brien’s candidacy for Congress?
(Video courtesy of Granite State Progress read their release)
Like the Republicans already serving in the House, former Speaker O’Brien seems to be thoroughly fixated on repealing Obamacare.
Wonder how many millions of taxpayer dollars he would be willing to waste on symbolic, “unrealistic”, “Wacko Bird” votes in Congress?
And yes, looks like Rep. O’Brien’s unfortunate comparison needs to be added to our growing list of legislators’ statements that have embarrassed New Hampshire in the national press.
Read about Sen. Andy Sanborn’s “plane crash” comment and other “If I offended anyone, I am sorry” remarks here.
Gov. Maggie Hassan said the state stands to lose about $1 million in federal funds per day for every day past January 1, 2014, that Medicaid expansion is delayed. “Accepting the $2.5 billion in federal funds available for Medicaid expansion is critical for boosting our economy, transforming our health-care system and providing needed health coverage for tens of thousands of New Hampshire working families,” Hassan said.