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December 22, 2014

Negotiating With Healthcare Terrorists

obamacare

We’re just a few days from launch for critical portions of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Republicans in Washington, D.C., are so freaked out they’ve taken the economy hostage and threatened to shoot it. Conservatives with “support the troops” on their car bumpers have no problem cutting off paychecks to soldiers in a doomed bid to “protect” Americans from affordable health care. I’ll bet the list of things they want before they’ll agree to pay the nation’s debts was made by cutting words out of magazines and pasting them on a piece of paper.

In case I’m being too subtle, this is not negotiation. It’s extortion.

Canadian-born Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pulled his own Chatty Cathy doll string for 21 hours in what can only be described as political theater. On the Senate floor, his railing against the ACA included a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Apparently he either had never read the book, or didn’t understand it when he did. “Sam, I am” protests against something for the whole book until he tries it and finds he likes it.

Mr. Cruz doesn’t have health insurance through his job as a senator. His wife, an executive at the investment bank Goldman Sachs, covers him. (You remember Goldman Sachs, so memorably described as the “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”)

After his exhausting speech, he jumped into his new BMW and drove away. Photo op time: He knelt in prayer outside the White House. Ted’s excellent adventure. What a man of the people.

On the homefront, Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell jockeyed to see who could show the most love for Cruz. The tea party is losing ground, but the two of them are ramping up a courtship of the crazies.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski called the health care act an “unworkable law.” Is she opposed to the Indian Health Service or V.A. hospitals? Does she reject the government coverage that comes with her job? She voted just like Miller would have. (And she voted the opposite of the late-Sen. Ted Stevens, a co-sponsor of the 1993 HEART Act, which had individual mandates for citizens.)

The Republicans aren’t concerned about the burden of mandates. It’s their idea. They came up with it in 1992. They’re concerned the American people will actually like having insurance companies held accountable for their rates, and the fact that the companies will be required to spend 80 percent of the premiums they collect on actual health care.

Being eligible for coverage even if you have a pre-existing condition will bring a big sigh of relief for millions of Americans. Same for the folks who have ignored lumps and other symptoms for years out of fear that a diagnosis would bankrupt their families.

Millions of young adults now have coverage through their parents. Women will no longer be penalized because . . . well. . . they are women. (I realize the whole baby-making thing can get spendy, but it’s not like they got that way by themselves.)

Medicaid was expanded to make sure states could cover the poorest among us. It’s this weird concept that poor people get sick and can’t just be left to die.

We live in a “post-fact” political world. When asked in a recent poll, 46 percent of respondents said they oppose Obamacare, but only 37 percent said they oppose the Affordable Care Act. Wonder what’s going on there.

Or take Gov. Sean Parnell. Parnell is deciding whether to extend Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands of working-poor Alaskans. He paid nearly $80,000 of our money for a report detailing the pros and cons of expanding Medicaid. Other reports have suggested expanding Medicaid in Alaska will provide health insurance for 40,000 Alaskans, create 4,000 Alaska jobs, bring $1.1 billion into Alaska and cost the state nothing for two years. Yet the governor has for months refused to release the findings of his new report.

Now he’s refused a Freedom of Information Act request for it — even though legislative attorneys say he is legally required to release it. Alaskans are entitled to know that his Medicaid decision is based on facts, not politics. Or politics, not facts.

Watching this week in Washington, I thought, “This is what it would look like if Aaron Sorkin wrote Die Hard” — a government based on hostages and ransom notes.

Hey, Republicans. Stop being babies. Stop pulling for the failure of one man at the expense of millions of Americans.

As for the president and his party?

They should remember that we have a national policy of not negotiating with terrorists. Why? Because giving in only encourages them to do it again.

                                This article is cross-posted at The Anchorage Daily News

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Comments
9 Responses to “Negotiating With Healthcare Terrorists”
  1. Really? says:

    Another excellent article. I loved the title. Right on about Lisa, “Is she opposed to the Indian Health Services or V.A. hospitals? Does she reject the government coverage that comes with her job?”
    And Parnell, I think he should want the citizens of Alaska to be healthy and be able to have an affordable health care policy.
    I’m anxious to see if I will be able to have a health insurance policy cheaper than now, $700.00 Per month.!!

  2. Alaska Pi says:

    Well the fools did it and our fool was right there with em…
    http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/113/house/1/504
    I am so disgusted with this brinkmanship game from the Rs I could spit.
    They painted themselves into a corner and found out they don’t have lil angel wings to get themselves out after all.
    Buncha doofs. PPPPFFFFFFFTTTTTT!

    • Really? says:

      Thank you for this link. He is a predictable , hateful fool. Why wouldn’t he want all people to be able to
      purchase affordable health care policies for their families.? I just don’t get it. He needs a bit of “reality therapy”, some kind of humbling experience to be able to relate to the people he represents. He should come to my town. Ten percent of children enrolled in the Alaska Gateway School District are special needs. Talk to their parents and caregivers.
      Oh, ditto this for Lisa and parnell.

  3. Zyxomma says:

    I’m a fan of single payer, but the ACA is a baby step in the right direction. Anyone who threatens to shut down the federal government, and/or destroy the full faith and credit of this country deserves to be called what s/he is: a TRAITOR. Let’s have some treason trials, and execute the guilty. After all, if they live, we, the taxpayers, will be paying for THEIR excellent health care for the rest of their lives.

  4. Ken says:

    I still say to shut off their pay and benefits until there is an agreement and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  5. Good job, Shannyn. I am so sick of seeing the republicans throwing their tantrums because they lost to President Obama twice. They need to grow up and get over it and get on with doing the job of governing. Shutting everything down is not governing but some of them don’t seem to know that.

  6. Alaska Pi says:

    Thank you Shannyn and all sensible folks who have written bluntly and truthfully about this set of &%#$%^&*ing games.
    I’m a single payer advocate myself but ready for us to at least get off “Go!” on this set of issues regarding healthcare.
    This bunch of extortionists torch my shorts on so many levels I can hardly describe them all. I am sick and tired of even trying to understand what it is they think we all gain by this crap.
    And I do mean “we all ” because they are light years from understanding or giving a fig about how this affects anybody but them and their fantasies of what America should be.

  7. juneaudream says:

    When..walking through..an area..turned to rubble..by say..any war zone, fire fight..one sees the disaster. We..cross our arms..over our chest..and pause..smelling the smoke, the charred flesh..and feeling the heat..rise up through whatever shoes we have left..or rags and wood bark..wrapped there on. The silence..it sickens. However..the long term will allow all..that includes the republicans..en masse..to start dealing with..the entire weigh of..Global..Viewpoints. I can stand..and live..in spite of the broken minds..which overcame..the thoughtful rebublicans..because the americans..who keep reading/listening/watching..and dealing with this..self-imposed holocaust..are going to pause..in their..too many times..insular life-patterns..and note..what IS..happening. Ave. americans..are struggling with just surviving. If it does not kill us..we become stronger. The ave. American..will note, will start bringing into political positions..more thoughtful men and women. We simply..keep dialogue going..and let..the strength of the people..rise. We can, and will survive..and we will not ‘become those broken ones’..who brought us here..to this point. Evalution..is truth.

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