DUPUY: Obamacare and My Family

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My in-laws, whom I’ve written about in the past, are emblematic of the economic meltdown: They’re both 57 years old—in the doughnut hole of being too young for Medicare, too old for the job market. They worked as middle management in businesses tangentially related to the housing industry. After the crash they were both laid off. They went on unemployment until it ran out. They’ve yet to find work. They didn’t benefit from the boom times, but the crash hit them hard.

Their golden years have been fed to Goldman Sachs.

For Tina 10.6They’ve each been paying $1,000 a month for COBRA coverage (the only insurance that would cover them) since they’ve been unemployed. That’s $24,000 annually. Their retirement savings have been going to their premiums. And that pricy COBRA coverage is set to run out January 1. People in other industrialized nations—all with universal health care and most single payer—can’t imagine how Americans accept this as a reality. My in-laws aren’t even sick and health care costs were going to bankrupt them.

But under the ACA—Obamacare—they’re eligible for California’s primary public insurance program, Medi-Cal. Because of Obamacare the state expanded eligibility to poor adults with no dependent children. And once they’re back on their feet, they cannot be denied coverage for preexisting conditions (which is basically being over 55). Also because of Obamacare.

Politics is not a football game. It’s not who’s up and who’s down and what quarter we’re in. You might not gather that from the reporting on the budget showdown, but the stakes are just slightly higher than whose approval rating could be affected.

New York Times: “With Shutdown Near, Talk Is of Who’s at Fault, Not of a Deal?” USA Today: “Blame Game for Impending Shutdown Plays On.” Washington Post: “Just One in Four Approve of Republicans Handling of Government Shutdown Standoff.”

Because what really matters is who will challenge Ted Cruz in his 2020 presidential re-election campaign.

The House Republicans have voted to repeal Obamacare—the Affordable Care Act or ACA—42 times. The House GOP are lawmakers-in-name-only. They’ve been the leaders of the least productive Congress in the history of the institution. In this way Speaker John Boehner has already shut down the government. Now we’re just talking about degrees. James Lankford (R-OK) in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki” on Sunday morning said, “There are also people that are going to be negatively impacted by [Obamacare]. We want to fix that.”

They had 42 symbolic, go-nowhere votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now Lankford tells the American public they just want to fix it…or shut the government down.

It’s a favorite GOP pastime to make up horror stories about Obamacare. In Ted Cruz’s meandering 21-hour talk-a-thon he used Sarah Palin’s 2009 Lie of the Year “death panels.” Tea party Freshman Congressman Tim Huelskamp tweeted on Sunday, “Because of a new #ObamaCare rule, Delno’s wife is prevented from receiving a much-needed surgery. #DontFundIt.” I asked the congressman via Twitter which “rule” in Obamacare he was referring to.

He never answered. Because there isn’t one.

The GOP has used a fire hose of baloney to try to thwart a law (they often refer to it as a bill) passed after a grueling 18-month debate in Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court and tested in a presidential re-election. Now the government is shut down: The Statue of Liberty, the symbol of American greatness is closed. The National Archives’ original copy of the U.S. Constitution is locked away. How very appropriate.

And for what? So that the House GOP can save us from having affordable health care? Yes.

“We’re very excited,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) last Saturday when it seemed inevitable the government would be shut down. “It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.”

Speaker Tip O’Neil said, “All politics is local.” But really all politics is personal. And nothing is more personal than health care.

And the Teapublicans want nothing more (and I mean NOTHING more) than to repeal health care reform that’s set to give more Americans private health insurance.

Beltway prattle within the paradigm of who’s winning and who’s losing doesn’t register the impact of affordable health care on the struggling working class. They’re not an abstract—they’re my family.

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© Copyright 2013 TinaDupuy.com, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Tina Dupuy is a nationally syndicated op-ed columnist, investigative journalist, award-winning writer, stand-up comic, on-air commentator and wedge issue fan. Tina can be reached at [email protected]

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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GreenLantern
GreenLantern
9 years ago

Tina is right on here! My wifes life has been literally saved twice in the last two years by Obamacare. We lost everything except our house 8 years ago due to insurance company literal death panels and my wife was saved at that time due to the fact that I got laid off my job and the new company was forced, through Federal law, to accept the pre-existing condition that my wife has. So even though I have really good health insurance, they bankrupted us! They bankrupt you, then kill you, just to give their CEO gift compensation of A BILLION DOLLARS! look it up! rethugs, start looking at what you are voting for! OWN THAT YOU ARE VOTING TO KILL PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!
You are NOT Christian when you vote rethug! Wake up!

The rethug party is really the death party. Start wars on lies, prevent saving lives with reasonable health care, destroy economies and starving, freezing and suiciding people. Killing veterans benefits, also killing them. Suicides are up, thanks to rethug policies. Not to mention 33,000 gun deaths a year. That is what hate-wingers and teabaggers represent. Now they are trying to destroy our economy again to keep sick children off of reasonable health care! You should be so proud of yourselves at all those funerals.

tom sanders
tom sanders
9 years ago
Reply to  GreenLantern

WOW…..that is amazing since Obamacare hasn’t been in effect for 2 years….lol…you idiots are such obvious liers.

GreenLantern
GreenLantern
9 years ago
Reply to  tom sanders

Obviously you are too stupid to understand the law. Many sections of it started over two years ago. Guess you are the stupid liar. Pre-existing conditions and no limits, among others. But since you are too lazy to even look that up….. or so hateful, you would rather people die, I hope you brag about voting to kill people like you seem to love to do. You are ugly in your writing and obviously don’t understand spelling OR talking.

tom sanders
tom sanders
9 years ago
Reply to  GreenLantern

yawn….did you say something about dying soon?

GreenLantern
GreenLantern
9 years ago
Reply to  tom sanders

You sure knocked down my truths with clever wit and cited facts.

And you hope I die soon. What a heartless monster you are. I wonder if your family is proud of you? If you aren’t too much of a monster to even have a family. (If you do, I am sure they hate you but probably are too afraid to leave, I hope they call 911 soon)
UGH!

tom sanders
tom sanders
9 years ago
Reply to  GreenLantern

LOOK…at the words this guy uses….these are the uneducated baboons that your up against…..totally out of their friggin minds…can’t even spell or talk right….actually belong in cages….doesn’t even know what he is talking about….a complete bonafide idiot….this guy has slober coming out of his mouth.

GreenLantern
GreenLantern
9 years ago
Reply to  tom sanders

Nice name calling. No substance, no refuting the facts. Typical hate-winger. Attack. No human empathy or feelings.

tom sanders
tom sanders
9 years ago
Reply to  GreenLantern

look at your own words…straight out of a jackasses mouth….just crap like they want to kill people or crap like they don’t want people to have health care…just mindless statements…name calling…that’s what you do….you’re a uneducated programmed baboon…..your parents must of been pathetic…drug addicts…maybe just financial failures…had you so they could suck off the government like ticks..poverty pimps…you should close the garage and start the car and relax alittle bit…release that baboon anger.

GreenLantern
GreenLantern
9 years ago
Reply to  tom sanders

Oh your faux news talking points stab me to the heart!
All those lies, aren’t you ashamed?

And you tell me to kill myself. Wow, my words are completely true, you just proved it. You want people to die, especially if you think they are poor. So your vehement replies are just because you know I am talking about people JUST LIKE YOU!

tom sanders
tom sanders
9 years ago

As usual another obama ball licker that can’t get enuff obama sweat……..are you going to tell the readers about the millions of people getting their hours cut and their premiums going up thousands of dollars per year? of course not…you will pick one story out of millions that was in favor of obamacare instead of the millions that were not just so you can push the criminal democratic agenda…which makes this newspaper and this writer a traitor to the country.

tom sanders
tom sanders
9 years ago

lets not forget these people screwed off their money on self indulgence and now they get to mooch off of you…..but then again that’s what your stupid A$$ voted for huh?