The GOP “Shut that whole thing down”
It’s official. The federal government has been shut down as of midnight, October 1. House Republicans decided they were so mad at voters, the law of the land, the Supreme Court, and the way the country works that they have thrown a stone in the gears. The Senate passed a clean Continuing Resolution to keep the government open, but the House responded by stomping their feet and passing a Continuing Resolution that guts women’s health care, and adds a special amendment to block contraceptive care. That’s right, it’s all because of lady parts.
There are few things quite so scary to Republicans as a uterus, and its owner. Especially when the latter wants to control the former.
Ironically, they are so warm and snuggly in your uterus, a band of rogue Republicans are the ones who have found ways to “shut that whole thing down.”
“House Republicans’ antipathy towards women’s health is so profound that they would shut down the government to keep women from getting preventive care,” said Mike Wenstrup, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party.
Despite the Republican histrionics, the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare) website was launched with millions visiting in the first 24 hours. “Women who have been missing health care for years are very excited,” said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood.
Speculating about how recent events might affect the potential gubernatorial candidacy of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, Richards said she believes Davis has a “very good chance.” Richards’ mother was former Texas governor Ann Richards. “It’s not just women in Texas, it’s men in Texas who don’t want their wives, and daughters, and sisters to have less health care than the ones who went before them… Men and women are saying, ‘We can’t elect people who want to roll access to women’s healthcare.’”
As is often the case, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) summed up the situation brilliantly.
“We have lived in that world, and we are not going back. Not ever… This is democracy. And in a democracy, hostage tactics are the last resort for those who can’t win their fights through elections, can’t win their fights in congress, can’t win their fights for the Presidency, and can’t win their fights in the courts. For this right-wing minority, hostage-taking is all they have left – a last gasp of those who cannot cope with the realities of our democracy.”
The House Republican Continuing Resolution included the following provisions for defunding the Affordable Care Act:
Legalization of gender discrimination in health care, which would allow insurance companies to charge women more for the same health care.
Elimination of free preventive care including breast exams, cancer screenings, annual well-woman checkups, and domestic violence support.
Elimination of guaranteed health coverage of contraception through the Blackburn Amendment, giving employers the ability to deny female employees coverage.
Elimination of young adults’ ability to stay on their parent’s health care until age 26.
Today, 3.1 million young adults, including 9,000 Alaskans, have coverage due to the federal law requiring that insurance companies let young adults up to the age of 26 remain on their parents’ health insurance plan. More than 27 million women have received breast exams, well-woman checkups, and domestic violence support thanks to the federal laws Republicans want to defund.