That’s what you’re trying to force millions of Americans to do. I’ll bet you’re not willing to do the same.
I’m angry. Plenty of Americans are. Because we’re sick and tired of being held hostage by last-minute threats and brinksmanship that risks the health of millions of citizens and the strength of our economy. But Republican members of Congress who are playing a game of chicken with Obamacare delays vs. a government shutdown won’t feel a pinch of pain if either of these scenarios comes to pass. I doubt any of them are willing to give up their healthcare benefits or salaries — which is exactly what they’re asking the rest of us to do.
Republicans want to delay implementation of Obamacare, which means millions of people with pre-existing conditions will have to wait another year for coverage. Families and kids who are already benefiting from the law could lose those benefits. People putting off life-saving surgery or cancer treatments will have to wait longer or risk going bankrupt. What could possibly be fair about that?
Then there are the start-ups and businesses that are preparing to open or expand because of the opportunities Obamacare presents through increased demand for healthcare services. The economy will lose out on new jobs at an exponential rate, as these enterprises struggle or fail altogether. Apparently, the GOP cares as little about creating jobs as they do about helping poor working families access affordable insurance.
Oh, and while they were at it, the House GOP thought they’d toss a religious/moral objections clause into their ransom note, to give employers the right to deny birth control coverage to their employees. I never, ever want to hear the argument again that “Obamacare is putting government in the way of your medical decisions.” First of all, that’s not true. Second, the GOP is the one invading our medical privacy, with forced transvaginal ultrasounds and sanctions on our access to birth control and reproductive health services.
If Democrats don’t cave on Obamacare — which President Obama has clearly said they will not — Republicans are willing to shut down the government entirely. That means non-essential government personnel won’t get a paycheck. That means they won’t be buying as much from the GOP’s beloved job creators. Military personnel on active duty will still protect our country, but their pay will be delayed. Toxic waste dumps will go untended, poisoning our natural resources. If the GOP thinks a government shutdown will have as little visible effect on the country as the sequester has, they’re wrong. Dead wrong.
Homebuyers may not be able to get FHA loans, slowing down the improving housing market. Mothers and children may not be able to get benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (aka WIC) that they depend on. You can read more about the potential pain that will be inflicted on Americans HERE.
So here’s my challenge to every member of Congress who is voting for Obamacare delay or a government shutdown: Give up your government-subsidized health insurance. Refuse the pay you’ll earn even while the government is shut down. Suffer the consequences just like the rest of us will. Because if you don’t, you’ll only prove what hypocrites you really are.