Politicians are not the most revered people when it comes to being honest and forthright in their statements to promote a particular agenda. Republicans have become synonymous with lying regardless that data or their own statements are easily checked for veracity, and the media is just as guilty of promoting GOP talking points they know are fallacious, and it includes purposely omitting stories and facts that would expose the liars. During the healthcare reform debate, Republicans and their minions in the teabagger movement spent considerable time and energy spreading lies and misinformation to frighten ignorant Americans into opposing the health law and they have not let up a year-and-a-half after the law was signed by President Obama.
Republicans have used every possible means to keep the Affordable Health Act from being realized, and because their attempts to repeal the law failed, they have turned to blocking funding necessary to implement the law. In a comment on Sunday in the McClatchy Tribune, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) used the typical Republican tactic of lying to persuade readers that it is ridiculous to fund the law because it may be overturned by the Supreme Court. Lying comes so easy for Republicans that Hutchison passionately used the same tired canards that the health law is an imposition on the American people, wastes taxpayer dollars, kills jobs, is fiscally irresponsible, and nothing more than government regulatory overreach. The problem for Hutchison though, is that her assertions are not true; the bigger issue is that Republicans are using the Supreme Court challenge to set a precedent for all legislation in America.
Republicans claim that all legislation Democrats passed in the past two-and-a-half years will kill jobs and Hutchison continues the lie by saying the law is “the greatest threat to job creation and our future fiscal sustainability.” The health law will mean that 30-40 million Americans without health care insurance will have access to affordable coverage and it means that doctors, nurses, and hospitals will have to meet the demand by hiring and adding millions of healthcare workers to keep up with demand. Since the law was passed,44,000 new healthcare jobs were created thus far and the law does not fully go into effect until 2014. The demand will only increase as more Americans begin taking advantage of the law’s benefits and estimates are that up to 400,000 jobs a year will be created. Hutchison is a liar.
Hutchison cited a study by a consulting firm that estimates one in three businesses will drop employee health insurance forcing employees to find “government-approved” insurance, but it has no relation to job losses; only that employees will utilize the health exchanges. The employees will still need doctors, nurses, clinics, and hospitals that must hire healthcare professionals to serve new policy holders. Besides, the study is an estimate and not hard data.
The real issue is not necessarily whether or not the health law kills job creation because it does not. The issue now and in the future is how Republicans are withholding funding until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law. If Republicans prevail, the Congress is no longer necessary to pass laws and any legislation will go directly to the high court meaning that the Supreme Court becomes two branches of government. The Supreme Court is not mandated by the Constitution to pass legislation and make laws, but that is, in effect, what Republicans are saying.
There are endless scenarios that could spell disaster if every law’s implementation is blocked until the High Court rules and it is not limited to legislation. If America is attacked by a foreign power and Congress declares war, a group of peace advocates could challenge the action in court to block activation of troops until the Supreme Court rules that Congress had the power to declare war. The health law was passed legally and for Republicans to refuse to fund the law means that no congressional action is safe. The Republicans’ actions are dangerously close to subverting the Constitution by intimating that no legally passed law is valid unless the Supreme Court gives its approval.
Allowing the Supreme Court to pass or reject legislation before implementation is wrong regardless of the party in power or the make-up of the court. Republicans are counting on the conservative court to rule in their favor, and with criminals like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas doing the bidding of Koch Industries and the Heritage Foundation; the law will likely face an uphill battle from the start. Republicans still think they won the 2008 elections and cannot stand that Democrats won and passed the health law, financial and banking reforms, and have either tried to repeal the reforms or obstructed implementation to serve their corporate masters. Hutchison is not the first lying Republican to use faulty data and outright lies about the ACA, and she will not be the last.
The health law was passed legally and will not kill jobs like Hutchison claims. It is not curious that every law Democrats passed in President Obama’s first two years has faced repeal efforts or threats of defunding. Republicans have claimed that everything President Obama supports kills jobs and they are still spreading the lie that the stimulus did not create one job when the CBO and every economist claims it created between 3 and 3.3 million jobs. Americans should be getting used to the perpetual lying by Republicans, but there are plenty of ignoramuses who believe everything the GOP says.
Hutchison says that the health law is causing havoc and uncertainty for states, businesses and U.S. families and therefore Congress should block funds to implement the law. She gives anecdotal evidence and outright lies as an argument for blocking the law until the Supreme Court rules, and in the meantime, millions of Americans are without healthcare and that is the result Republicans really desire. Remember, Republicans still claim healthcare is a privilege and not a right and if they can prevent 30-40 million Americans from having healthcare and 400,000 jobs a year from being created then they will have achieved their ultimate goal. In the process though, they are setting up a scenario where Congress is impotent and all power will rest with the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench. If that is Hutchison’s goal, then she and all her lying Republican buddies should just resign now, disband Congress, declare the Constitution null and void, and turn the government over to the five conservatives on the Supreme Court who can appoint a preacher to issue edicts from the bible. It is where this country is heading if Republicans have their way.