I must first acknowledge that I will be directly affected by a Government shutdown. My household income will be halved while this is in effect. Our savings could be depleted very quickly; creating a very real economic problem for our family. It is from this personal affront, that I am attempting to write this post.
Delaying the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) will directly affect my parents. They are currently paying more for their health insurance than their mortgage due to their circumstances. 1 year is a very large sum of money that could be used to stabilize their finances.
A group of ideological zealots in the Republican controlled House of Representatives have caused gridlock. At the current impass, House Republicans voted a bill that would fund the Federal Government at the expense of the newly implemented Health Care System. Tea Party Faction Republicans refused to draft a pure spending bill that could get negotiated by the Senate and President. They are trying to delay the Health Care System from taking effect the weekend before it is implemented. As a result, all rational forecasts view economic turmoil if a shutdown actually occurs. The Tea Party Faction applauds this with wanton disregard for the suffering of many citizens.
The only rational for this legislative behavior is that they are pandering to the Far Right Wing of the Republican Party to shore up 2014 elections. This is a Hail Mary. John Boehner’s House Republicans actually believe that the American People hate “Obamacare” so much that the nuclear option is on the table to prevent it from being implemented. It must be noted that studies find that calling “Obamacare” the Affordable Care Act significantly improves its favor.
Gerrymandered districts will ensure that many House seats are safer than it should be. That being said, I’m confident that brinkmanship blame will be allotted to House Republicans over Senate Democrats. The fallout during 2014 is yet to be determined.
So why this absolute hatred for “Obamacare”? My intuitive understanding is that this is due to the Tea Party at face value. Behind this facade we must look at the big money involved. For-Profit Insurance Companies actively sabotaging Congress in order to protect their profits. Why do I believe for-profit insurance? They have the most to lose from a well-regulated, egalitarian health care system.
This brinkmanship will continue in conflagration while the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party is emboldened. Compound this hypothesis with the understanding that unlimited non-transparent funds can be siphoned to candidates. This is through the Conservative ruling of the Supreme Court in the Citizen’s United case. The solution to stopping this is fairly simple, yet hard to implement. Transparency.
Exposing the money trail of the Tea Party will inevitably pull rational voters away from the initial fervor of their ideologies. Big money interests will be shown for what it is; cloaked in false populism. Passing Obamacare will also create a wave of resistance against the Tea Party Republican political assault. It is said that enrollment will significantly improve the voter registration in the USA. This is not good for Republicans. As they do not represent the values of much of the Middle Class, passage of Obamacare is a huge political problem.
At this juncture, cloaked in rhetoric, House Republicans are willing to hold the American economy hostage to protect their political interests. There was the immediate effort to blame Harry Reid and Senate Democrats for preventing passage of the House Bill. This is not the case though. Most people would rationally assume that they could negotiate a “clean” bill void of extra riders to fund the Government. The Democrat Senate and Executive Branch have called for “clean” bills. House Republicans are essentially betting that they can demonize Democrats and look as the defenders of liberty.
Information Age Politics will quickly hash out GOP logic. Social Media will disseminate the realities of House Republican action. Time and time again, the GOP utilized rhetoric that alienates all but the privileged elite. Unfortunately this time even Wall Street has had enough of these shenanigans. As a good measure, it would be wise for the SEC and Department of Treasury to monitor closely actions by traders affiliated with the GOP. Someone is betting big on Short Sales. In short, the House Republicans understand the Realpolitik of their situation. The Affordable Care Act is the beginning of a new era in the United States. It will increase the difficulties of winning 2014 and 2016.