We have witnessed five years of political grid- lock coming to a head with the recent shutdown of the government as the nation prepares to launch its first nationwide comprehensive health care plan, the Affordable Care Act. This should be a period of great celebration, but it’s not. It’s a period of grand distortions.
When the Affordable Care Act passed three years ago, the middle class and poor people finally got something that says society hasn’t forgotten about them. Forty three million uninsured people now could receive care and shop for their provider. That’s a major accomplishment, but it has never been recognized as such.
The entire time health care reform was debated and legislated, it was mischaracterized and distorted. Politics gets petty like that sometimes. While the President of the United States has tried to ignore the pettiness, he can’t ignore the reality. The Republicans have been able to distort the reality of what the Affordable Care Act means and can do for Americans.
Since the Republicans can’t deal with the truth of the Affordable Care Act passing, they are going to spend every waking hour trying to tear it down, trying to distort what it is, what it will cost, and what it ultimately mean for the people’s “quality of life” health care. When you can’t fight the truth, you distort the reality, hoping the lie becomes the truth.
The Republicans have spent the past three years licking their wounds while trying to distort the reality of what universal health care means to the nation. They have even sought to racialize the distortion by tying it to the President in a way that reminds you who he is and where he came from. You can’t separate the health care policy from the man who signed it into law.
The Republicans even gave it a name, hoping it would be his downfall in re- election; and that it would cause people to reject it on its face before even understanding what it could do for them. They call it Obamacare.
As the January launch comes closer to reality, the Republicans have raised the stakes. Just when you think this Congress can’t become more grid-locked than it already is, the Republicans are using the Congressional powers to run the government as leverage points to undermine the funding of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It is holding up the budget approval process until Obamacare is defunded. The House has already passed an emergency budget bill that only takes the government’s 2013-14 funding through December 2013 and it is missing funding for Obamacare.
On the Senate side, Senator Ted Cruz is attempting to filibuster a budget that includes the Obamacare funding. The Republicans may refuse to raise the debt ceiling. The last time that happened, the nation fell off the “fiscal cliff” into a forced sequestration. There were massive layoffs and forced government service cuts. Economists are predicting that if it happens again, the recession could return and hurt the American public even more.
The Republican’s don’t care. This is about political survival for them. They don’t care how many people they hurt in the process, if it means they get the President. The goal is to try to turn the people against the Affordable Care Act before they can enroll in it, because they know once the people enroll in it they are going to find out it’s better than they had been told and the lies were solely for the purpose of political deceit.
The funding schedules have been released and it is being reported that the Affordable Care Act will cost less than previously forecast. So, already the lies about Obamacare have begun to be proven false. When the people find out the Republicans lies about Obamacare were untrue, the Democratic Party will go into 2016 on a real high. Particularly when you have the Presidential hopefuls of the other party (Cruz and others) leading the lie.
The politics of distortion can only play out for so long before the truth takes hold, and that’s generally not long at all. The President knows this, but distortions are hard to ignore. The pettiness can create grand distractions away from more meaning business (like a peaceful solution in Syria).