Your daily Letters to the Editor — Oct. 9, 2013
Note from Dan: These letters to the editor have run in the Roanoke Times in the past few days.
A congressional House minority composed of extreme right-wing, self-serving, gerrymandered Republicans has manipulated the closure of the U.S. government because it could not prevail in an electoral or responsible legislative process to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
This shutdown hinders our weak economic recovery and business confidence. It’s one pathetic demonstration of that unique “American exceptionalism” those same Republicans love to boast of and claim credit for.
I resent House Republicans saying that Americans “don’t want Obamacare.” Speak for yourselves, I say! Speak for yourselves, please. Speak for the tea partiers, if you must. You do not speak for me.
Many Americans have already benefitted from the Affordable Care Act; millions more of moderate or low income will be seeking additional benefits through the health insurance exchanges (no thanks to Gov. Bob McDonnell).
I say to Republicans: You have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind. You have courted a faction, which now won’t leave the House, that spurns compromise, ridicules dialogue and threatens to bring the country to a halt if it doesn’t get its way. Maybe only punishment at the ballot box will bring your party to its senses.
I hope so. We are a two-party system, and need a strong, articulate — and reasonable — Republican Party for balance. But we don’t need this party of yours as it is now: contentious, narrow-minded, shrill, angry.
The ACA is the law, duly passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court. So get off it, and get on with the people’s business, for goodness’ sake.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte has been voting against the Affordable Care Act in spite of a few facts: 60 percent of bankruptcies prior to the Wall Street meltdown were attributed to nonpayable medical bills. Nonpaying patients were cited as a major contributing factor for rising hospital charges and insurance premium costs.
Even though the ACA is not fully implemented, health care inflation is at its slowest and lowest rise in 50 years. Goodlatte took office during the Hillarycare debate. I ask: In the 20-plus years he has been in office, what has he done, other than objecting to the ACA, to resolve this known, long-term problem?
Shutting down the government should not have been an option and won’t defund the ACA.
The tea party-led anti-government minority is grid-locking the nation.
Its members deny the government credit for many of the privileges they enjoy and celebrate as Americans, from security and public education to the opportunity to amass fortunes and engineer favorable tax treatment.
They are quick to claim, erroneously, that our educational and health systems are the best in the world, but undercut them by blocking funding and reform. Their idea of patriotism is, “America, love it or leave it.”
I suggest that these folks who hypocritically and irrationally hate government more than they love their country and fellow citizens follow that advice and move someplace where there is far less government: Antarctica, the western Sahara or Somalia, for example.
I am deeply disappointed in House Republicans. Along with their Democratic colleagues, they were voted into office by the people to do a job: run the country. Yet they have cast aside all concern for people’s daily lives and livelihoods in an attempt to withhold affordable health care from millions of their fellow citizens who either can’t get it or can’t afford it.
It is outrageous that they are making a conscious decision to hold the operation of this country hostage to what amounts to a toddler’s breath-holding spell.
The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Conservatives couldn’t come up with a good plan for sensible health care in this country, but when a liberal president essentially co-opted a conservative solution from the ’90s, it was suddenly a harbinger of the apocalypse.
Their collective temper-tantrum is a complete abrogation of their responsibilities to Americans, an affront to what we have a right to expect from our legislators, and an episode that I am hopeful a critical mass of the electorate will recognize for what it is, and will exact their judgment in the next election.