No negotiating with hijackers

When Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas spoke for almost a day against the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), he was reduced to parroting Dr. Seuss to fill the time. But more interesting than what he said was what he chose not to say.

He chose not to remind the American people the heart of Obamacare, the insurance mandate, was the Republican health plan. It was conceived by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. Its most ardent disciple was Newt Gingrich who traveled across the land promoting the mandate solution. It was first enacted by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts (Remember him? He was the Republican presidential nominee last fall).

Democrats wanted a single-payer plan where we all have health care as American citizens, choose our providers and present the same health card to receive our care. Traveling? Your card is good everywhere. No worries. But Democrats were disappointed the president chose to reach across the aisle for his health care solution, believing it was so important to get folks covered and cared for that he couldn’t afford a big partisan battle. Cruz had time for Dr. Seuss, but not for this inconvenient fact. He is demanding the president abandon his own Republican Party’s solution to our health care crisis.

Cruz failed to point out President Obama did, in fact, abandon the public option whereby we all could get the same type coverage Congress enjoys. This provision was very popular among Democrats, but was dropped in yet another compromise with Republicans. Cruz could have told us, in addition to the mandate, over 200 provisions in the Affordable Care Act came from the Republican side of the aisle.

Republicans have apparently changed their minds about their own proposals. According to our Constitution their path is clear. Draft and introduce the legislation they want, hold hearings, get support and get their ideas enacted into law.

The path that is totally unacceptable is to hold a gun to the country’s head during the budget process (or the debt ceiling adjustment) to force acceptance of proposals that they cannot pass by proper means. They are hijacking our government. There is no negotiating with hijackers.

Karen Campbell