Letter: Democrats to blame for shutdown | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Democrats to blame for shutdown

Democrats to blame for shutdown

Regarding Blanca O'Leary's Oct. 2, 2013, letter to the editor pertaining to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's government shutdown, Ms. O'Leary again displayed her astoundingly consistent, simplistic capability to copy and paste talking points from left-leaning websites.

Ms. O'Leary stated that "President Obama … was re-elected (with 50.9 percent of the vote) in 2012 after Obama Care (sic) was passed" and that "…elections do not matter to the tea party."

Newsflash for Ms. O'Leary: The 2012 election also deposited 232 Republicans (53.3 percent of the chamber) in control of the House of Representatives to act as a constitutional check on the most liberal president in America's history. Most of those Republicans (including Scott Tipton) ran for office with the mandate to de-fund, repeal and replace the so called Affordable Care Act.

There are two funding components for the Affordable Care Act for 2014: $71 billion in mandatory funding and $13 billion in discretionary funding. The first continuing resolution sent to the U.S. Senate funded every aspect of federal government spending except the discretionary component of the Affordable Care Act, leaving 84.5 percent of the act's funding intact for 2014. Harry Reid's Senate voted that resolution down.

The latest continuing resolution sent to the Senate asked for two exceptions to the Affordable Care Act. The first is a one-year delay of the individual mandate to purchase Affordable Care Act-approved health insurance, which would save individuals some $15 billion in fines and taxes in 2014. Failure by you or me to secure an Affordable Care Act-approved health insurance policy for 2014 will result in a fine that is the greater of $95, 1 one percent, of adjusted gross income. President Obama has already unilaterally (and illegally) suspended exactly 20 mandates of the Affordable Care Act for one year, including the employer mandate to provide insurance for employees of companies with 50 or more full-time employees (saving those companies $12 billion in 2014), and the out-of-pocket limit for insurance company co-pays, proving once again that if you don't have a seat at the negotiating table, then you are on the menu. Huge insurance companies and massive corporations hired armies of high-priced lobbyists to gain their one year exemptions. You and I can't afford lobbyists, hence we are what's for dinner.

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Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley was able to insert language into the original Affordable Care Act that mandates that all 11,000 congressmen, senators and their aides participate in the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges in the same exact manner that you and I are forced to. Call it "The Eat Your Own Cooking" provision of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act mandates would have increased the cost of their health insurance from $5,000 to $11,000 per congressional family. Having never actually read the law, Democrats were caught flat-footed on this provision and petitioned President Obama to "fix it." Of course, he did. Without any legal authority to do so. Now you and I are tasked with paying 75 percent of the cost of health insurance for our ruling elite who make as much as $174,000 per year. The Wall Street Journal reported that 92 percent of Americans, including 88 percent of Democrats, find this congressional "carve out" unfair. The second exception in the latest resolution asks that Congress simply obey the law they voted for in 2010. Harry and his gang again selfishly voted against you and me, and for themselves, thereby "shutting down" the federal government.

This 18th government "shutdown" has furloughed 900,000 "non-essential" federal workers. Yet, somehow, life goes on. As for Ms. O'Leary, apparently elections, laws and the constitution are of little concern.

Russ Andrews

Meredith

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