By Ron Brzoska
On Thursday I wrote a blog entitled You Are All Missing the Point. In that post I talked about how President Obama’s offer to allow health insurers to extend the plans of people they had cancelled was both hollow and illegal. My opinion was very much in line with many of the news reports and pundits reporting on it. I also talked about how Republicans need to stop trying to help cover this critical mistake by the democrats by trying to help them fix it. Seize the momentum. Even John McCain has stopped capitulating for the moment and is advocating scrapping Obama-care. The mantra needs to remain “Repeal and Replace.”
Unfortunately, there are still too many Republicans that are calling for delaying the individual mandate for a year without removing the law. It leaves this voter with the feeling that they aren’t concerned with repealing Obama-care, but rather are interested in being popular enough to win election/re-election by appearing to be against it. Maybe the problem is that instead of listening to the constituents, Congress seems to think the media are its constituents and base their actions on the headlines. That would explain why after Thursdays headlines spoke of President Obama’s “fix” for the cancelled plans, the GOP decided to craft and vote on a bill of their own “fix” that mimicked what the president came up with. The bill passed overwhelmingly with all but 4 Republican votes and managed to take 39 Democratic votes with them.
This is a good thing right? NO! First, it has now attached the Republicans to the Affordable Care Act. They are voting to delay it which gives the plan time to entrench, and they are giving a life line to pols on the ropes like Dick Durbin who keep asking for Republicans to help fix Obama-care instead of opposing it. The bill also gave cover to those 39 Democrats that voted with them. The 39 can now claim on their campaign lit that they voted to keep your plan when a week ago, the Republican challenger could say on their literature that Congressman “X” voted for Obama-care which made millions of Americans lose their health insurance. Idiots! Finally, it’s a hollow bill. It only puts off the suffering. It doesn’t remove it.
Let me paint you a picture from my own congressional district, the 11th in Illinois. My congressman is Bill Foster. Two days ago, he was the congressman that admitted that he didn’t read the AFA before voting for it in 2009. He was voted out of office in 2010, but thanks to gerrymandering, is now my representative. Until yesterday, he had no defense to protect him from Obama-care backlash in the next election. Foster voted yesterday with the Republicans. He now can claim compassion for those that lost their plans rather than being a poster-child for what needs to removed from Washington. The DNC should give John Boehner a thank you card for his efforts to help Bill Foster re-election.
There are five Republicans that are hoping to represent the party as Foster’s challenger in the general election. One of and perhaps the leading candidate, Darlene Senger either doesn’t get it either or she is receiving bad advice. She has a new website to compliment her campaign, www.delayanddisclose.com. Again, while well-meaning, the premise is weak. Don’t delay, repeal! Delaying puts off the pain. It doesn’t remove it. Disclose refers to giving us the number of enrollees in the Affordable Care Act in Illinois and the number of cancellations. Almost as soon as the website went up, we are given the number of enrollees in Illinois: 1,370. Pathetic, but so what? Even if the number were 100 times that, it wouldn’t change the fact that Obama-care is awful and destructive. Even worse for State Rep Senger, her initiative is falling flat. As of this writing, only 396 people have signed her petition. That’s only about a third of the anemic Obama-care enrollment numbers. In order to not only win elections, but to effect positive change, we need to make bold, decisive statements and present the corresponding policies and initiatives. Come out and say Obama-care needs to go. Come out and say I am the candidate to do it. Haven’t the adventures of the past week proven to us all the more that when you put politicians together and give them a problem to fix, all they do is come up with a swirl of mud? Hands off my healthcare, now and forever. Get it?