For any of you who haven’t been following the shutdown in the US, I’ll give you a quick update. Obamacare is a law that was passed to ensure that everyone in the US could have affordable healthcare. They do have a Medicare-kind of system over there but it is very limited, apparently, so you really need to have private healthcare. And even if you can afford private healthcare, the providers are very good at denying claims…in fact they train their people to always so ‘no’ first time around. For a good analysis of the US system, watch Michael Moore’s documentary, Sicko.
Anyway, I digress. So, the law was passed and was due to come into effect on the 1st of October 2013. The Republicans think that this bill is the worst thing to ever happen in the US…apparently worse than slavery, the Great Depression or the Twin Tower’s attack…so they decided that they would block government funding, by not passing the Budget, unless the Democrat agreed to postpone the implementation date. The Democrats said ‘go to hell in a hand-basket’, and so funding was blocked and the government doesn’t have the money to pay for lots of it’s staff. This means that 1000’s and 1000’s of US public servants have been sent home on leave without pay.
The Republicans are accusing the Democrats of not being willing to negotiate, while the Democrats are saying that the law has been passed democratically by congress, that it has survived around 40 attempts by the Republican to overturn it, that Barack Obama won a second term as president, with a bigger percentage of the vote, after the law was passed and that the law has been confirmed by the US Supreme Court as being constitutional, so it has had plenty of negotiation. And I think they probably have a point. 🙂
I think the stupidity of the Republican’s position is exemplified by this interview exchange between a TV host and a Republican strategist…
TV Host (TVH) – Why are you so against Obamacare?
Republican Strategist (RS) – Because it is one of the worst things to happen in American history. And it is unconstitutional.
TVH – But the US Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional.
RS (Looking totally stunned, with a ‘how dare you ask me a sensible question like that’ kind of look) – Um, yes, but it had to go all the way to the US Supreme Court for that to be decided.
I had a big WTF planned but I’ll leave it to you to determine the stupidity of this statement. Just to help you though, the Republicans were the one who took the law to the Supreme Court…and the Supreme Court is the only body who can rule on Constitutional matters. 🙂