Apologies, but we will not be posting updates or responding to tweets during the government shutdown. We’ll be back as soon as possible!
— Peace Corps (@PeaceCorps) October 1, 2013
Ezra Klein, brilliant as usual, reminds us what the shutdown is really about:
This is all about stopping a law that increases taxes on rich people and reduces subsidies to private insurers in Medicare in order to help low-income Americans buy health insurance. That’s it. That’s why the Republican Party might shut down the government and default on the debt. *
Slate, also brilliant, describes the shutdown using tropes on foreign government failures. Sadly, this is not that far off – some of my Kyrgyzstani coworkers thought we were undergoing a revolution in DC, and that I would not be able to come to work anymore. (I tried to explain that this was not a coup, but a tool of our Congressional system. I got some blank stares.) The article, both hilarious and sad, by Joshua Keating, “How would we report on the government shutdown if it happened in another country?” that includes this sparkling gem:
The capital’s rival clans find themselves at an impasse, unable to agree on a measure that will allow the American state to carry out its most basic functions. While the factions have come close to such a shutdown before, opponents of President Barack Obama’s embattled regime now appear prepared to allow the government to be shuttered over opposition to a controversial plan intended to bring the nation’s health care system in line with international standards. *
The saddest paragraph you will read about the Shutdown, from the Atlantic:
“At the National Institutes of Health, nearly three-quarters of the staff was furloughed. One result: director Francis Collins said about 200 patients who otherwise would be admitted to the NIH Clinical Center into clinical trials each week will be turned away. This includes about 30 children, most of them cancer patients, he said.”
House Republicans have failed to stop Obamacare from going into effect so far, but sadly and ironically, their actions have prevented hundreds of people from getting healthcare from just one clinic.
“Our health care system was broken. 48 million people in this country had no health insurance. Women couldn’t get access to cancer screenings. People with diabetes were denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. People with cancer hit the caps on their health insurance spending. And health spending in this country was growing far too fast.
So we worked hard, we compromised, and we came up with a solution. A solution that will substantially improve the lives of millions of Americans – because that’s the way a democracy works.”
Andrew Sullivan’s “The Best of the Dish Today” that includes a round-up of articles and ideas from the first day, as well as a pretty scornful description of Congressional Republicans orchestrating the government shutdown:
To vanquish them to end this preposterous excuse for a political party, to expose their lack of any constructive alternatives for the challenges we face, to indelibly mark them as vandals of the very constitution they dare to celebrate, and as saboteurs of this constitutional democracy. We have a chance now to show the kind of scorching sunlight on these creatures of ideological certainty and personal hubris that they scurry back to the dark holes from which they have recently emerged and be consigned to the moral margins their rancid racism finds most congenial. *
“Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.” *
The majority of Americans still don’t know what the Affordable Care Act offers to the 15% of Americans that are uninsured. Many support the provisions of the ACA, but hate Obamacare – but seem to not understand that they are the same thing.
There are legitimate reasons one might support or oppose the healthcare law, but misunderstanding its names or basic provisions is no longer among them. *
Apparently, the Adorable Care Act was a thing and I missed out on it.
IMAGE SOURCES: Peace Corps on Twitter, Top Right, Top LEft, Bottom
I wrote about the Government Shutdown as a Peace Corps Volunteer here.