An unhealthy obsession

Once again, the most radical wing of the majority in the House of Representatives got its way in tying upcoming votes on the federal budget and the public debt to repealing the Affordable Care Act.

The GOP legislative leadership, fearful of having a direct confrontation with the White House—leading to a government shutdown that would hurt them politically—had a plan to make room for those who would be voting against the reform for the 40th time, with as few repercussions as possible.

However, that was not enough for a few dozen tough lawmakers, who finally prevailed again with proposals that are an ideological exercise destined for failure. For example, in addition to defunding Obamacare, there are demands on continuing the sequestration cuts, tax reform and the Keystone pipeline.

While the all or nothing strategy is not new, the Republican obsession with dismantling the health care reform is still striking.

In fact, this seems to be the only unifying factor in a legislative majority that has even been unable to agree to pass a farm bill without tearing it apart—and much less, approve one of 12 government appropriation bills.

This failure is being used as extortion to make an extension of government funding until mid-December, only to then attack again with new demands and blackmail.

What is unusual in all this is that while the obsession to end the health care reform dominates a wing of Congress, the law is being implemented around the country. There are already many people who are benefitting from expanded coverage and the protections patients who used to be at the mercy of insurance companies have today. However, those millions of beneficiaries mean little to the narrow-mindedness that dominates the lower chamber.

ImpreMedia/La Opinion