House Republicans will go down in flames with their wacky plan to shut down the federal government unless money is pulled from the Affordable Care Act before it starts Oct. 1.
Secretly they are not worried. Either way, they have government-provided health insurance, even if 30 million Americans have no medical coverage.
Republicans oppose what they call Obamacare for basic political considerations. They are terrified Americans will love it once they are comfortable with how it works. Remember the guy at the Tea Party rally who wanted the government to keep its socialized-medicine hands off his Medicare?
Indeed, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow makes an important point in his Saturday commentary. He dissects a CNN/ORC Poll that reported a 54-percent disapproval rate for the Affordable Care Act. Turns out 15 percent of those folks oppose it because it does not do more; it’s not liberal enough.
Check out the reporting by Lisa Stiffler in the Seattle Times. Her special report is an interesting window on the views, values and political connections between approval and disapproval. Eastern Washington is at 61-percent disapproval, but, I suspect, will come around to appreciate the benefits. Residents don’t mind the westside of Washington subsidizing everything from highways to school bus transportation. Federal spending on agriculture and federal infrastructure seem popular too.
One consistent fact about health care is that the expenses of the uninsured get picked up by taxpayers and those with insurance. Healthy, uninsured people get into car accidents and suffer all manner of unexpected traumas. The emergency room bills are covered by others to some extent, but hundreds of millions of dollars go uncompensated. No one is turned away.
House Republicans are playing dangerous games because they have nothing else to talk about. They refuse to do the heavy lifting of actually attacking the federal budget or raising taxes and closing loopholes.
But then, they have health care and generous federal pensions.