Friday, October 18, 2013

Unaffordable Stupidi-TEA

Look who's talking now. Fresh off his big legislative victory, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) is now spilling some tea on what led to this week's series of surprising events. Who could have guessed that Congressional Republicans were so willing to throw their own staff under the bus?

"They kept trying to legislate from hour to hour," Reid recalled in an interview with The Huffington Post on Thursday. "It wasn't even day to day."

With Democratic senators united behind him, Reid dispatched the patchwork legislative offers being tossed his way, setting the stage for a complete GOP capitulation. But Wednesday night's resolution didn't come without exasperating moments. In particular, Reid said he was incensed that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) targeted health care subsidies given to congressional staffers who are required to buy insurance on the newly created Obamacare exchanges.

Weeks before the government shutdown, Boehner's office had privately worked with Reid's staff and the Obama administration to maintain the employer health care contribution. But as Boehner's negotiating position worsened, he publicly demanded that the contribution be ended.

"All of us who worked with him on this [were saying], 'John, what is the matter with you?'’' Reid said. “Okay. Go after members of Congress. But even doing that. Now, I can handle if I have to buy insurance without employer contribution. But some of my senators can’t. Forget about that. Forget about senators. They can do okay. But staff -- we have staff people of [Sen.] Susan Collins. She has people who work in Maine and make $25,000 a year. One of the reasons you can get somebody like that is that you give them health care. I don't mean to ramble on here, but I just can't imagine the thought process of John Boehner. ... How in good conscience could you do something like that?"

At the very end, some Republicans were threatening Armageddon just so their staff could suffer. How on earth did that make any sense?

Oh, wait. That's right. We're talking about the Crazy Caucus (and its enablers).

How else can we explain why they're still denying their awful poll numbers? And how else can we explain why they're still denying the evidence that Obamacare (aka the ACA, or the Affordable Care Act) is working?

Of course, Congressional Republicans are now zeroing in on the ACA's glitchy web site and the company that built it (while donating to Republican campaigns). And yes, this is a problem that has to be fixed (and that's already in the works). Yet while the web site has had problems, the actual law has already been saving lives.

This is why even Republicans like Clint Murphy, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R), and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) are asking their party to give Obamacare a chance to work. So why are the supposedly "moderate, post-partisan, No Labels" Republicans like Senator Dean Heller (R-What?) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-Why?) still trying to destroy health care reform? Why are they instead following the lead of Sharron Angle and some "schoolyard bully"?

Congressional Republicans shut down the government and threatened default over the ACA. And what did they get as a result? Nothing but higher poll numbers for Obamacare and lower poll numbers for themselves.

So why would they ever try this insani-TEA again? That's a good question. It probably depends on whether they can finally stop pandering to the 21st Century Know Nothings.

In this last attempt to pander to them, Republicans threatened to screw their own staff. And before that, they wanted to take health care away from millions of Americans. And look at where they've landed as a result. Just how affordable is this stupidi-TEA?

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