To the editor:
The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, went through the normal process followed when a bill becomes a law. It was introduced and voted on. It got enough votes to pass in both branches of Congress, and the president then signed it into law.
After that, things started getting strange.
Some Republicans who opposed the law challenged it in the Supreme Court and the court decided it was constitutional. Refusing to take no for an answer, fringe Republicans have become absolutely obsessed with defunding or repealing Obamacare. The House has voted 42 times to repeal Obamacare.
When hard-line Republicans say the current government shutdown exists because the President refuses to negotiate, they are distorting reality. Obamacare is already in place. The negotiations were done as the law was being written, which is the way our system works, and the result was a law that included Republican input.
I think the greatest fear of the Republicans is not that Obamacare will fail, but that it will succeed. If the law is so bad, the American people will see that it’s bad. But if it’s a good policy to provide a form of health care for Americans, just as most industrialized nations do for their citizens, then that will be apparent, and people will wonder why the Republicans fought against the law so fiercely.
... America is being held hostage by a handful of Republican zealots who refuse to accept reality.
That isn’t Democracy.
— Steve Hazell
To read the entire letter, see the Oct. 10, 2013 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.