I strongly oppose any effort to tie a continuing resolution needed to fund the government to the repeal or delay of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. When Obamacare was thoroughly debated in both houses of Congress, I specifically remember U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) offering strong arguments against passage, which was particularly interesting, considering his medical background.
Notwithstanding his party’s opposition, it eventually passed both houses, was signed by the president and upheld by the United States Supreme Court. He now suggests that it be repealed or delayed, and has voted to do the same, even though there is no empirical data pointing to its success or failure. To get his way, he threatens to hurt all of us, and do irreparable damage to a fragile economy by shutting the government down.
His strategy of taking the country hostage ignores more than 200 years of legislative procedure this country has followed in making or repealing laws. That procedure provides for the introduction of a bill, debate, a vote and if a majority agree, passage, followed by judicial review.
Of course, he and his colleagues already know this, yet he persists with his perilous “alternative legislative remedy” of placing guns to our heads until Democrats capitulate. It’s almost as if some in Washington have forgotten they were elected to tend to the country’s business, as opposed to waging an ideological war.
I implore him to put the country before party, stand for the passage of a clean continuing resolution and, if he must, thereafter work toward repealing the law, without destroying our economy. If Obamacare is as bad as he contends, I suspect he would allow it to cave under the weight of its own infirmities.
However, since he is intent on dismantling it at its conceptual stage, it appears his real concern is that the program will prove successful. In 2014, we will be voting for a candidate to replace Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Hopefully we will choose a person with moral courage, willing to speak truth to power and not just another party-line sycophant hiding in the crowd.
Dennis C. O’Brien