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Steve Lunetta: Congress, grow up

Posted: October 7, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 7, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

“Mommy, Joshua took my toy and he won’t give it back!”

“Uh-uhhhh. Tim hid my baseball mitt and I took his toy to make him give it back!”

“Mommmmmmeeee! Joshua just hit me!”

Egad. Doesn’t Washington sound much like when we had small kids? Doesn’t anyone act like an adult?

I still remember the screeching, the whining, the selfishness, and the willfulness. Does any of this sound familiar?
“The Democrats refuse to come to the table.”

“Obamacare is a done deal. We are not going to discuss it further. The matter is closed.”

“President Obama is an aloof, arrogant intellectual who does not know how America lives.”

“The GOP is dominated by tea partiers who know nothing but their self-interest.”

Is there not one single adult in all of these elected officials? This is absolutely painful to listen to. The posturing and political pandering are potentially punishing to our populace. I love alliteration.

Let’s be honest. Both parties are responsible for this mess.
How?

The Democrats have a valid point. Obamacare became law three years ago. It is essentially Romneycare, and Obama won an election resoundingly over the author of that program. Obamacare has been attacked legislatively and in the courts.

It has survived and been “blessed” by the American people. Universal healthcare is a concept that seems to have come of age. It is wanted by most and needed by many.

But there are problems. It has only been in the last 30-60 days that the true impact of Obamacare is becoming clear. A large number of Americans are losing their health coverage — having hours cut or being outright terminated by employers from their jobs.

Costs appear to be much higher than expected. State exchanges do not operate properly. The bewildering number of options are confusing and frustrating.

To ignore these issues is irresponsible.

The supporters of Obamacare draw a parallel to the implementation of Social Security, civil rights and the Great Society. Each of those programs met considerable conservative resistance. In fact, it took almost 12 years to get Social Security in its current form.

Today, who can imagine a retirement without it?

However, a more appropriate comparison would be to Prohibition in the 1920s and early ‘30s. Prohibition was a well-intentioned but deeply flawed piece of legislation that, arguably, did more to foster the growth of organized crime than anything else.

Born out of a desire to help people be free of alcohol and live more productive lives, Prohibition had to be repealed before the harm went any further.

The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is also deeply flawed and needs further work before implementation. I think most reasonable conservatives are willing to concede it is now law but that it needs significant revision and research.

However, I am very concerned that liberals are unwilling to look at this legislation and address the dangerous and damaging aspects of the new system.

Should the government be held hostage through a shutdown to force this conversation? Do people respond well when there is a figurative “gun” to their heads?.

No, probably not. This is not a good way to proceed.

But frustration with Democratic Party unwillingness to discuss the growing concerns during implementation has forced the hand of some in the GOP to take this action. This is unacceptable on both sides.

As of this writing, the House has sent five spending bills to the Senate offering to fund the government with lessening requirements to deal with the Obamacare issues. The latest was simply a provision to delay the individual coverage requirement for one year.

Seems very gentle and reasonable.

As an aside, let’s not kid ourselves. The “shutdown” threat has been used numerous times over the last 40 years by both parties to “extort” something out of the other side. Its dirty politics but its also par for the course. So, let’s not act so indignant over the tactic.

Democrats, get off your arrogant high horseand go to the table. There is a legitimate concern here and it needs to be dealt with. 

Republicans, quit playing political chicken with our economy and people’s livelihoods.
For goodness sakes. Grow up

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and believes that all of the political bomb-throwing needs to stop. He can be reached at slunetta63@yahoo.com.

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