Evidently John Boehner is so incensed over that tanning tax in the Affordable Care Act that he's vowed to do everything within his power to stop the implementation of "Obamacare". His remarks came in the context of his reassurance that he really, really doesn't want to shut down the government, but then, there's that pesky health care law...
Of course, in a divided government, the likelihood of a government shutdown depends almost entirely on how flexible Republicans and Democrats are during negotiations over the budget and federal spending. So if Boehner's pursuit of "smaller, less costly, and more accountable government" is dramatically out of sync with President Obama's priorities (like implementing his health care law), a temporary shutdown may just be inevitable.
"I am committed to doing everything that I can do and our team can do to prevent Obamacare from being implemented," Boehner said. "When I say everything, I mean everything."
So that we're clear here, Boehner is prepared to shut down the entire federal government to prevent the following:
- Non-discriminatory coverage for all Americans (e.g., no more pre-existing conditions exclusions)
- Government assistance to make insurance costs affordable for individuals
- Coverage of children until they reach age 26
- Preventive care and wellness
- Elimination of lifetime and annual limits on coverage
- Expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor
These are just a few benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Whether or not you believe there was a better way to go with this, these are still very real, very important benefits, especially elimination of pre-existing conditions exclusions.
John Boehner has vowed to shut down the government to stop this from happening. The entire government. He justifies it this way:
"Our goal is to have a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government here in Washington, DC," Boehner told reporters. "Our goal is not to shut down the government."
A less costly government? Pretty laughable coming from the man who wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent at a greater cost than the entire 10-year bill for "Obamacare".
Democrats have to stop running from the Affordable Care Act and own it, straight up. On September 23rd -- 7 days from now-- insurers will no longer be able to terminate policies when people get sick. They'll have to cover emergency services without prior authorizations that leave patients in ER hallways. Women will have access to OB/GYN care without a referral from a primary doctor. Children under the age of 19 may not be excluded for pre-existing conditions. Lifetime dollar limits are a thing of the past, policies cannot be rescinded, and preventive health coverage is included at no additional cost.
These are meaningful to many, many people. Democrats need to start taking ownership of this instead of letting John Boehner re-prioritize tax cuts for the rich as a more important agenda item.