Vol. 8    No. 20
OCTOBER 3, 2013

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                            Hands Off My Obamacare
It seems as if Congress — and specifically the Republicans — is getting senile. I have been watching in
amazement with the maneuvering that has been happening around passing the continuing spending
resolution to keep the federal government running. Congress hasn’t passed an annual federal budget in
years and so they have to pass spending resolutions just to keep the lights on, sort of to speak. I would
get fired if I ever did that on a job, but the Republicans — and some Democrats — have gerrymandered
the Congressional districts to such a degree that they don’t face any real opposition from the opposing
party, so they can carry on with impunity as long as they keep the money folks in their own party — Tea
Party aligned folks — happy. In other words, it pays for them to be belligerent and uncompromising.

And so the Republicans have forced a shutdown of the federal government unless the Obama
Administration agrees to cut funding for or make wholesale changes to Obamacare. This is like a small
child throwing a temper tantrum or holding their breath until they get what they want. And just like the
case with the small child — if the national polls are any indication — the Republicans are just hurting
themselves. They are acting so childish.

Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul was on a Sunday talk show the other week saying that the federal
government shutdown would be President Obama’s fault because he wasn’t willing to compromise on
the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Paul again is just acting like the spoiled child who when
defending his position, only includes the facts that support his view while ignoring the totality of facts
surrounding Obamacare. Paul is not a leader, he is merely an advocate.

When Obamacare was passed in 2009, it was already a compromise. Many of us wanted a single payer
system to reduce administrative overhead. Our health care system was already immune from market
forces. Actuaries — number crunchers — decide how much we are charged for our health care
premiums, not our individual health. And I am willing to pay more — I have been in pretty good health for
the first 61 years of my life — so that someone else can be treated who may be less healthy than I. But I
would rather pay into a single payer system so that there isn’t someone skimming profits off of the top to
achieve the same objective.

So Obamacare is already a compromise bill. And when I didn’t get my way on a single payer system, you
didn’t hear me urging folks to shut down the federal government so that I could get my way. Obamacare
is already a compromise — and in my view, that is what is causing some of the glitches — and so people
like Rand Paul want a compromise on a top of a compromise so that they can make Obamacare
unworkable and then get rid of it entirely. It is people like Rand Paul who have to have it all or nothing at
all. That is so childish. And that is who we have leading our nation? God help us!

I posted a comment on CBSnews.com the other day about Obamacare and my own health care situation.
And someone replied that I was trying to mooch off the system. Since 2006, I have paid in around $40,000
in health insurance premiums and received about $2,000 in services for a net pay-in of about $38,000. I
have catastrophic health insurance and pay a high amount because I don’t belong to a group. I don’t mind
to pay in more than I receive in benefits because with health care, I think it is a WE thing and not a ME
thing. The people fighting Obamacare are fighting with belligerence and say anything in spite of what the
facts might reveal.

I am not a freeloader, but the pre-Obamacare system is horribly broken and doesn’t lead to good health
outcomes for many Americans. I can’t afford to take part in preventative health because I have to pay for
it myself on top of the $742 per month in premiums that I have to pay out just to be protected against a
catastrophic health event that might be brought on ironically because of the way the system works. It is a
cost plus system that has been immune to market forces for years. It has lost its commitment to the
Hippocratic Oath.

The real reason that I think the Republicans are being so belligerent and insisting on shutting down the
government until the seeds for the destruction of Obamacare are sewn is fear. What the Republicans fear
most is that Obamacare will succeed in its objectives, that when it is finally implemented, that ordinary
citizens will find out that Obamacare actually benefits them, making it more likely over time that the
Republicans will never be able to dismantle it. For them, it is a now or never situation. How many of us
will pay the cost of their intransigence? In the long run, like the child who holds his breath until he gets
what he wants, it will be the Republicans who eventually lose out.

President Obama needs to stay strong on Obamacare.
Streaming Mary Lou
Poet Fabu Releases Remember Me
at the Overture Center