Letter: Aim of Republicans is to stop health care for working poor

  • Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Republicans shut down the government in a last ditch effort to keep millions of Americans from getting health care insurance.

The budget and the debt ceiling isn’t complicated at all, however, it’s full of misconceptions and urban myths.

Some facts worth remembering.

Democrats have already agreed to fund the government at Republican level. Despite what you might have heard on Fox, or other right wing propaganda media, there have only been two serious government shutdowns in recent history, and both were the result of Republican ultimatums.

Democrats in the Senate have been begging House Republicans to negotiate over the budget for the past six months, but Republicans have steadfastly refused.

That’s because Republicans wanted to wait until they had either a government shutdown or a debt ceiling breach as leverage, something they’ve been very clear about all along. Republicans talk compromise, but they’ve offered nothing in return for agreeing to their demands except to keep the government intact if they get their way. The American public is strongly opposed to using a government shutdown to stop the Affordable Care Act.

Contrary to Republican claims, the deficit is not increasing. It peaked in 2009 and has been dropping ever since, declining by $200 billion last year with another $450 billion drop projected this year.

A long, protracted government shutdown is likely to seriously hurt economic recovery, a long shutdown could slash GDP in the fourth quarter by 1 percentage point, and reduce employment by over a million jobs.

Democrats have not used debt ceiling hostage taking in the past to force presidents to accept their political agenda, Newt Gingrich tried and failed miserably.

This whole dispute is about the Republican Party fighting to make sure the working poor don’t have access to affordable health care, furthering the divide between working poor and those at the top. Obamacare is not the work of leprechauns or bogeymen, it’s the law, bringing together what were originally Republican ideas, (Mitt Romney should get an honoree mention), which will make it possible for millions of Americans lacking health insurance to now obtain it.

Officially called Affordable Care Act, Republicans mockingly coined it Obamacare in a effort to diminish its intent.

Liam McGinley

Aiken

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