Open Letter to the GOP - Government Shutdown edition

As I write this blog post, we are less than three hours away from "shutting down the government". As you know, the Republicans in the House, led philosophically by the "Tea Party" caucus, want to de-fund or delay the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare). I am among those who believe that Obamacare will cause much more grief from unintended consequences than any good it will do.

As I have stated in previous postings, our health insurance market in the US was badly broken. High annual premium increases, Nazi-like intimidation concerning pre-existing conditions (even if you had unbroken coverage from your previous policy), illogical groupings and rating experience based upon a small cohort of employees on a plan, little competition and huge profits made for an all-around distrust of the insurance companies.

Even though I don't think that the Congressional Democrats were smart enough to craft legislation to do this, I feel that President Obama and many of his ilk, wanted a single-payer system so badly that they were willing to allow this monster of a law, so that when the American people finally wise up to how badly it was designed, they will be ready for the next phase which will be a total government takeover of the health system.

My experience with any new health insurance product is that it comes out cheap (well, maybe not cheap, but less expensive) in the beginning, then starts hitting you with at least 10% annual increases. Like the frog in the saucepan, by the time you realize that you can no longer afford it, it is too late and there are no further options.

What I suspect will happen is that like many of Obama's other policies, if he waits long enough something will get worked out and he will look good to the 53% that voted for him. What is more likely to happen is that, in spite of the left's efforts to impede profitable improvements, technology will save the day and "bend the cost curve down." Like Bill Clinton's serendipitous economic miracle (also know as the Internet bubble, pre-burst), Obama will probably get lucky on this one.

Having said all of that, while making my feelings and my distrust for Obama, the Democrat Party and medical insurance providers as a whole well known, I think that it is time for the Republican to move on to something else. This shutdown gig is over.

I know the Tea Party representatives are doing what they campaigned for and were elected to do, but it just ain't gonna happen. If they had been elected to put America back on the gold standard, would they have any better chance? Through 46 separate attempts to de-fund Obamacare, they have been defeated. Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies have made their points numerous times and there has been ample opportunity for those in favor of Obamacare to cast their vote. The record is clear. We all know who wants it.

One thing that I believe has made the Republican cause to become so hopeless in front of voters is that they offered NOTHING in place of the current law. Instead of saying what I did in the second paragraph above and making the case that something needed to be done... just not Obamacare, they may have had a better chance. When millions of people wanted health coverage (although I doubt many actually wanted to pay for it) but were denied it due to not having a job, enough money or having a pre-existing condition, and the Republican's strategy is the one thing which offered them a glimmer of hope needed to be repealed, well, you do the math.

Tone deaf doesn't begin to describe these politicians. Like a pack of hungry dogs chasing a fat rabbit, these guys focused their attention like a white-hot laser on their goal at the expense of cooperation, decorum and two centuries of tradition and custom. Sometimes you need to break a few eggs to make an omelet, but it doesn't mean you have to gun down the chicken coop.

The Democrats are standing their ground as well as the Republicans, but the fetid smell of defeat will cling to the Republicans because they don't own the media and most voters really don't have a clue what is going on.

Guys, you fought the good fight. Now, let the Democrats have Obamacare. They deserve it. And when the wheels start coming off of it, let them fix it. They will have plenty of opportunity. Don't help them, but don't stand in the way, either. Spend the rest of Obama's three years doing something constructive for the nation (what about energy, infrastructure, science and technology advances.) Let the Dems continue to run up the debt, then maybe, just maybe, voters will see what a mess it is and vote for some adult leadership, because if you don't, the Democrats are going to keep the White House anyway.


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