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David Gaul
Shelby County Democratic Party Co-Chair


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David Gaul
Donna Clothier
Kathleen Cue

THE COMING OF HEALTH CARE

An asteroid ten miles wide is on a collision course with the planet Earth.  Moving at 70,000 miles per hour, it will hit on October 1st and wipe out all life everywhere.  A plume of vaporized rock, dirt and water will rocket upwards to fifty miles above the surface of the Earth.  The shockwave will ignite firestorms across the planet.  Everything will burn.  Nothing will escape the inferno.  It will be a total and absolute apocalypse. It will be the END OF DAYS!  Just like the dinosaurs, humanity will cease to exist, and it's all happening next week.

Well, almost.  Obamacare is coming!  The health insurance exchanges are opening.  We're doomed!  Just ask any Republican.  They'll tell you, "Be afraid!  Be very afraid!"  Isn't this what Revelations predicted?  Can the Rapture be far off?  Stock up on bottled water.  Lay in a supply of aspirin.  Buy up all the boxes of dried soup you can find.  And if you haven't viewed the first-season boxed set of House of Cards, you better hurry and watch it.  Soon there will be no more electricity.    

Panic has set in.  Henny Penny  tried to warn everyone on the floor of the United States Senate.  You remember him, right?  He was Chicken Little's friend, the first to hear about the falling sky.  He goes by the name of Ted Cruz now.  Whether it's an acorn, or a ten-mile wide asteroid or Obamacare is no longer relevant.  It's a death knell.  Period.  I mean, it must be.  Why else would an entire political party lose its collective mind--small though it is--about a program that extends health insurance coverage to thirty million uninsured Americans, eliminates pre-existing condition discrimination for millions of others, covers preventative health care visits, keeps children on their parents' plan until the age of 26, eliminates yearly and lifetime coverage caps, closes the donut hole for seniors in their prescription drug plans, extends the solvency of Medicare, forces health insurance companies to spend 80% of premium dollars on health care, lowers the deficit, creates competition among private insurers and generally creates a more healthy American citizenry and workforce?  Why would any sane political party be against that? 

Could it be we're not necessarily dealing with a strictly sane Republican Party anymore?  That's a question that can no longer be considered tongue-in-cheek.  When Barack Obama took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January 2009, a collective irrationality infected the Republican Party at every level of its structure.

Look back.  It was a time of supreme crisis for our country because of the recession, but that was not their concern.  Their only concern was to thwart the presidency of Barack Obama.  It became their singular obsession, and it remains so until this very day and hour.  This rabid obsession has blinded them to everything else.  It has become a drug of sorts, and they are addicted.  Reckless behavior now governs and defines their every action.   The needs of the country are at naught.  The thought of basic, commonsense governance is too mundane a concept for them to pursue.  Instead, they flirt with dangerous debt ceiling battles that could wreck the economy again and plunge the entire world into chaos.  They toy with the notion of defaulting on our obligations.  They ignore pressing problems like gun violence, immigration reform, climate change--see the latest IPCC report on climate change here--poverty, unemployment, stagnant wages, education--all  important stuff, the stuff of real life.  And all because they have this pathological dislike--bordering on hatred--for Barack Obama.

It makes no sense.    Their irrationality and unwillingness to join with Democrats to responsibly govern  threatens to sabotage the machinery of our nation.  While the aforementioned problems linger, Republicans fiddle and spew nonsense.  If there is a strategy to their madness, it must be to wreck and damage the country as much as possible and hope the electorate fails to notice that it was the Republicans who were responsible, that it was the Republicans swinging the wrecking ball and wielding the spiked flail favored by Vikings of medieval times.

Vikings pillaged.  Vikings sacked small towns and villages, achieving power through mayhem.  The course Republicans have chosen has the same course.  It is so dangerous.  Will  the public see through their sham?  The Republican PR machine is a behemoth.  It consists of talk radio, Fox News and a host of right-wing columnists and bloggers.  It is a universe unto itself.  Millions of people live there.  Facts often die at the point of entry.  And now, an all-out campaign is underway to confuse and frighten the public about Obamacare.  More mayhem.  More sabotage.  More lies.

And more NOISE.

But this time the truth will win out.  Obamacare is the law of the land, and it shall go forward.  The White House has begun the rollout of the health care exchanges.  Earlier this week, President Obama joined with former President Bill Clinton to discuss the Affordable Health Care Act at the Clinton Global Initiative.  It was a fascinating meeting, well worth watching if you haven't already.  You can see it here.  And yesterday, President Obama delivered a barn-burner at a community college in Largo, Maryland, in which he made another impassioned speech about the Affordable Care Act.

There is one website--and only one website--that consumers need to visit to have all their questions answered.  When you access healthcare.gov, an easy step-by-step process will give you all the info you will need to answer your personal health insurance questions.  The questions are targeted so as to create a personal, tailor-made profile of your health care needs.  I have gone through the process myself.  It's easy as dirt.  I beg everyone to try it.  There's nothing frightening here.  It's a breeze.  Serious thought and deliberation has gone into the layout of this process.  Republicans and tea partiers desperately don't want you to go there.  Their greatest fear is that the public will discover that the new health care law--Obamacare--is a great thing that will make their lives better. 

And that scares the hell out of Republicans.  An American public informed and empowered will recognize the Republicans for the charlatans and hucksters that they are.  An informed public will see that the sky is not falling, that a giant asteroid isn't coming to wipe us all out.  Ultimately, Obamacare will give us peace of mind as we go forward with our lives.  The threat of illness and injury will always be there, but finally we will know that health problems will not leave us and our families destitute.  That's a great thing. 

October 1st is the day we take a big step into a brighter future.  Ten years from now, the term Obamacare won't be the derisive term that Republicans hoped it always would be when some media consultant concocted it.  Instead, it will be one of the foundational pillars that the health of the nation will be built on.  It will be enshrined in the lexicon of America.




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