Monday, September 30, 2013

Responsibility

At no point since it's passage, has the Affordable Care Act ever been approved of by a majority of the American people.  When it was passed, a majority of the American people didn't want it.  And while the numbers have fluctuated somewhat, it's always been majority against.

The House of Representatives recently passed a Continuing Resolution to fund every aspect of government but the Affordable Care Act.  The Senate added an amendment restoring funding.  When sent back to the House, they compromised.  They delayed the implementation of the individual mandate for a year.  The Senate is saying they will table the bill, and the White House is saying if it passes the Senate it will be vetoed.  

Who would be responsible for shutting down the government?

By all measures of sanity and logic, it would appear that it is the Senate and the White House, not the House, that is perfectly happy to let the government shut down all over a health care bill that a majority of the American people have never wanted.  And all those horror stories?  They appear to be true.

People said the employer mandate would cost jobs.  The Administration said that was hogwash.   But as the date for that mandate to kick in drew closer, companies across America started dropping full time employees to part time employees.  Other companies froze hiring to stay below the 50 employee threshold.  So the President, in a move that was nothing but political to anyone with half a brain, delayed the employer mandate for year.  To right after the mid term elections.  

We were told if we liked our doctor and insurance we could keep them.  However, over the last few weeks, pictures cropped up all over the internet.  Pictures of letters, sent to people by their insurance companies, telling them that their plan is not compliant with the Affordable Care Act.  They will have to purchase a new plan, and that new plan, which includes a lot of extra stuff, will cost them more money.  For some it's more than twice what they were paying for a plan that did what they needed it to do, but might not cover birth control and in vitro fertilization.  

Howard Dean recently admitted that Sarah Palin was right about those death panels.  Death panels was a term coined to describe the Independent Payment Advisory Board, who would decide whether your life was really worth that life saving treatment.  Or did everyone forget the President himself mentioning that controlling health care costs might mean giving granny the red pill instead of the blue pill, that was more expensive, but that she really needed to you know...live.  

You might be interested to know how much control of our healthcare resides in the hands of one person.  The Secretary of Health and Human Services.  The bill has this to say about the powers of this one person:  700 references to the "Secretary shall", 200 reference to the "Secretary may" and 139 references to the "Secretary determines".   So, in a 2,000 page bill that no one read before they passed it (Nancy Pelosi:  We have to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it), 1,039 times it is determined that one person, not elected, and with no Constitutional check on their powers, can determine the outcome of YOUR healthcare.   

The truth is the bill was never really written, and for it to work in any manner, whether good or bad, it will need to be amended hundreds of times over.  It was 2,000 pages of open ended government control over your very life, and by life I mean, the breathing, heart beating, brainwave thing.

And it is this law, this one little law, this one train wreck of a law (according to Max Baucaus), that is going to be the reason the Democrats shut down the government.  They are so tied to a law they passed (and which they then exempted themselves from, big surprise there), that they will allow every other government service shut down.  Oh, except their pay.  In 1992, when they were still in charge of the legislative body of the government, they suckered us into passing an amendment which doesn't allow them to give themselves pay raises, but it also ensures they still get a paycheck in the event the government shuts downs.  Congress needs their pay more, than say granny needs her social security.

So who is responsible for shutting down the government?  




Monday, September 9, 2013

To Those Who Never Got Involved.

I posted Steve Taylor lyrics to facebook last night, from his song "Whatever Happened to Sin". At the time, I was thinking about the church today, and how so many churches are preaching a feel good, social justice gospel in order to make themselves more acceptable to the masses.  

Today I realized how appropriate those lyrics truly were,  not just to the church, but to our political scene today.

I remember after the election, seeing posts on facebook where people were talking about how they didn't really speak out during the election, but now there were things going on they just couldn't keep silent about.  Those posts made me angry.  Most of the things that were so upsetting after the election were going on well before the election and during the election.  Suddenly deciding to speak up now, when the damage is already done, seemed to me to be a case of "too little, too late". 

You see, I believe we have a duty to at least TRY to make a difference when it comes to the things we believe in.  Putting your head in the sand and not speaking out, for whatever reason, is a cowardly move.  This will make people angry.  I get it.  We don't want to upset our friends or family.  We want to keep the peace.  I truly do understand that.  Those things, however, do not let us off the hook.  It just doesn't. 

I can go back to that old saying from Germany during World War 2, about how someone didn't speak up, and when they came to take him, there was no one left to speak up for him.  But we've heard that one before.

It's quite simple.  If you don't speak out when it counts, when you could make a difference, when you could challenge the status quo, or all the news that fits the narrative, then really, how much right do you have to complain now?

In case you are still sitting there saying "But, people will delete me off facebook, or stop talking to me, or get angry, or..."

I have had 2 family members delete me and block me on facebook.  Not because I said something hateful to them.  Not because I was mean or horrid.  Simply because I had the nerve to post an opinion different than theirs.  I challenged their assumptions, and this made me persona non grata.   They were constantly posting things that challenged my assumptions.  They made me look deeper into what I thought.  In many cases, they didn't change my opinion, but I became much more capable of defending my own position, because I was forced to see the other side.  I welcome this.  I guess they didn't.  And while occasionally it still stings, I refuse to stop speaking out. 

I have been called a bigot, a racist, homophobic.  I have been told I am more concerned with other women's sex lives and that's why I"m pro-life.  I have been told I am annoying and useless.  And yet I still speak out.

The ability to speak out, to challenge, to verbalize our opinions is one of the foundations of society.  If it wasn't for people speaking out, there would have never been a Revolutionary War, the Abolitionists Movement, Women's Suffrage, Civil Rights.  All of those things challenged in a deep, profound, life-changing way, the status quo.  People, individual people, made a difference.  

So I will continue speaking out, and I'm challenging you to do the same.  

I'll leave you with this little tidbit, from Steve Taylor's song:

If you don't care now
How the problems get solved
You can shake your head later
That you never got involved

'Cause the call came ringing
From the throne of gold
But you never got the message 
'Cause your mind's on hold