Even though it sounds melodramatic, I feel like sometimes we are living life under siege. This feeling is much stronger now that the House Republicans have shut down our country’s government because they are displeased with the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.”
For those not in the know (and at this point, you probably should be), certain, but not all, House Republicans have tied the passing of the United States budget to the repeal of Obamacare. Here in the US, you can’t just kick out a part of a bill when you’re voting—you vote on all of it, or none of it. Of course, Obamacare has NOTHING TO DO WITH the budget. Not even a little bit. But because a budget wasn’t passed by October 1, the United States government went into (partial) shutdown. The Republicans have made it so that without the repeal of Obamacare, we cannot pass a budget. The President has also stated that he will not sign a budget bill that includes a repeal of Obamacare.
And it’s bullshit.
Please excuse my French, but I’m right. These lawmakers are playing on the fear of the American public that our entire economy will crash and burn to get what they want. They are holding us hostage. And Lord knows we have to pass a budget. Congress has already voted on spending the money—the budget just says how and when we pay for it.
Let’s get something straight: Obamacare was passed by proper democratic process by a fairly elected bicameral Congress and signed into law by a fairly elected President who was then re-elected Four years later. Republicans have attempted the repeal of Obamacare 42 times. FORTY TWO TIMES. And it hasn’t worked yet. The law was also declared constitutional by the United States Supreme Court.
So why are we being held to the whim of the minority? That’s not how democracy works. If Obamacare can be repealed honestly, in the right way, with the votes of both houses, let the will of the people be done. That’s the system we’ve signed up for. But if it can’t be done the right way, then you don’t get to game the system and shutdown the government of an entire country.
Lawmakers, if you’re going to act like children, take your toys and go home. You can’t stay in my yard if you’re not going to play by the rules.