Oh, all those threats and missives of misinformation that have been the mainstay of the Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act are about to be tested. The boasting loudmouth GOP right-wingers are heading for what they think will be self-fulfilling prophecy. If they click their heels together three times and repeat, "There's no place like home," they'll be transported back home to a time they remember fondly. A time of slavery, white man's 'superiority', subservient women in their proper places in the kitchen , and the select few ultra rich running the country. The real heroes, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan will rule once again.
Fortunately, as with most dreams, this one won't come true. And just by wishing Obamacare away isn't going to make it happen. It's here to stay. And the more the Republi-nocando's try to disown it, the more it's going to eat them alive. The GOP is in critical condition and doctors, pre-Obamacare are predicting the Grand Old Parties demise. Death from internal hemorrhaging.
The fear of those nasty death panels loom over them.
Ezra Klein, one of my favorite wonks was filling in for another of my favorite smarty pants nerds on MSNBC Friday. And he did a segment on "UP WITH" that was brilliant. It demonstrated just how insane the Red party in the US really is.
We all know the definition of insanity and forty-plus attempts to eliminate Obamacare fits that definition to a "T". But what Klein goes on the point out, and people like Boehner, Cantor, Cruz, Lee, and Rubio all know but don't want to admit is that even if they take the government hostage, shutting it down, Obamacare doesn't shut down with it. It only shuts down discretionary funding.
As you'll see below, programs like the military, medicaid expansion, state and federal tax exchanges and tax credits fall under the category of "Manditory Funding" " and therefore are unaffected by the shutdown. They're still funded and they go on unimpeded. And Obama can add to those by declaring something falls under the category of essential personnel.
Can't you just hear Dr. Frankenstein madly shouting, "It's Alive. It's Alive!!"
So what does the government shutdown have to do with Obamacare? Plenty. Plenty of notin'!
Well, maybe notin's too strong a way to put it. Maybe sumpin' good might actually happen. As other effects of the shutdown take hold, some employees may lose their employment. They may have to seek their own insurance and they might possibly go into the government exchange health plans. That will send even more healthy people into the coverage pools and lower the costs of insurance for all.
Congress, do what you will with the government. Keep it open and running, hopefully, but the damage has been done. The GOP is dying and after 2014, the prognosis is for all three branches of our government to be under Democratic rule. How good that will be remains to be seen. But the malignant tumor of the GOP will be removed. What's left will hardly be strong enough to function. Whether the patient can be saved at all is up to the Obamacare qualified doctors. But Boehner-Cruz-itis, (gesundheit) has struck. Now you will live or die with it.
Ezra Klein -- the floor is yours.