GOP is done


To the editor,


Now that Congress is on summer recess I guess we can look forward to another big push by Republicans to stop Obamacare.  Their tactics belie the desperation they’re feeling: shutting down the government or defaulting on the debt so there is no health-care funding.  Talk about stupid.  Then there’s the empty gesture of burning your health-care card - which doesn’t exist anyway.  Or  just begging people not to sign up.  That’ll work.  As with everything else they’ve done since 2008, Republicans are allowing their reflexive, visceral, hatred of Obama the man, overpower their ability to affect policy and govern in a professional manner.  This childish behavior will ultimately hurt their constituents and cost them any hope of influencing the health-care debate.     

Armed with Party-specified talking points, congressional Republicans, our own included, will be sent on the kamikaze mission of holding town halls to bloviate against the AHCA.  We’ll hear about how it will kill small business and how the individual mandate is government overreach. Never mind that in the States where it’s been implemented the law is already reducing premiums, and that families that have never had health insurance are now covered.  Never mind that those who are mandated to get coverage (2% of the population) would show up at ER’s anyway, driving up all our costs.  (Back when mandated health care was a Republican idea, it was called “personal responsibility”; after Obama proposed it, it soon became a “tax.”)  Never mind that the CBO estimates only 3% of small business would be affected by the AHCA, and that a fix for them is in the works now.  Like the kamikazes, these guys only have only been given enough gas for a one-way trip.   

There is little doubt that there will be things in the health-care law that will have to be fixed - just as there was with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  Any law that’s that complex will need fine tuning. Indeed, some of these changes have already been made and others are being worked on now. The critical thing is that the parts of the law that help people the most - universal coverage, exchanges, no pre-existing conditions, kids staying on their parents policy - will be in effect and providing real benefits to real people. And Republicans know when that happens, somebody may as well stick a fork in them.  Because they’re done.

Pete Bengeyfield