The petty, yet dangerous, fight to defund Obamacare
The Republican Party is treading a dangerous path in its fight to defund Obamacare. The GOP shut down the government, and if this doesn’t work, it’ll put the nation into default until Obamacare is gone. The Republican Party has officially gone insane.
The GOP has voted to repeal or defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, 42 different times. All of these attempts have been unsuccessful, and no rational person could think that President Barack Obama would repeal the landmark legislation of his presidency.
For some reason however, the GOP, led by the fringe of the party, persists in making Obamacare the endgame of liberty and democracy in America. Yet for three years we’ve lived under Obamacare and we still have our freedom, and now six million more young Americans have health care.
Obamacare was the conservative alternative to the national health insurance proposed in 1989, when the Heritage Foundation created the proposal. In 1993, the GOP introduced two health care reform bills that included the individual mandate, and Republicans who supported the legislation then now oppose it.
Over one million federal employees have been furloughed, and it’s estimated the economy will lose 0.2 percent of growth each week the government is shut down.
While a shutdown is not as big of a problem as a default, Congress still needs to raise the debt ceiling in the coming weeks. If they fail to do so, the U.S. government will default on most of its financial obligations, which could send interest rates skyrocketing and have a devastating impact on the economy.
The GOP has said that if it can’t win the fight on a government shutdown, they’ll bring the fight to defund Obamacare when it comes to raising the debt ceiling. This tactic is extremely dangerous. In 2011, when Republicans tried the same tactic, it resulted in the U.S. credit rating being downgraded, and higher borrowing costs in the long term.
This manufactured crisis is simply unnecessary.
The GOP is using a “hostage-taking” tactic, and Republicans are even using rhetoric that includes the phrase “shoot this hostage.” It is a disgrace that someone who serves in public office in the greatest country in the world would refer to our economy as a hostage. This type of rhetoric is unhealthy for our political system, and even worse for our nation as a whole.
It is unclear what the Republican party wants other than to make Obama look bad. This isn’t a battle for conservative principles because the GOP has never made the debt ceiling a huge political issue prior to Obama being office. Former President Ronald Reagan, the conservative hero to the Republican Party, raised the debt ceiling 18 different times without a huge battle. I guarantee that Cruz wouldn’t dare challenge Reagan on any of those occasions.
Our nation faces numerous critical issues that will define our country for years to come, and yet everything could crumble because of our own doing. Cruz and the insane Republican Party have become exactly what they claim to despise: big government politicians standing in the way of business and economic growth.
John Foti is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs. He writes a bi-weekly column which comes out on Tuesdays.