A recent conversationvia Facebookinspired me to address the continuing saga of the Affordable Care Actsince it seems to be one of the main reasons the government shutdown continues. Regardless of the amount of blame-shifting among Republicans and Democrats, one thing remains certain in that the House parties are divided even among themselves. While most Republicans won’t entertain compromising unless the Affordable Care Act is in the discussion, Paul Ryanrecently drew ire by proposing a plan with no mention of the measure. His view, dare I say it, is respectable as he states that, “I don’t know that within the next two weeks we have a viable strategy for actually repealing Obamacare, every piece of it.” Why? Probably because it’s already in effect. Why waste time repealing a law when the real issue seems to be the staggering national debt? Most people however, do seem to want to waste time governmentally because the issue isn’t so much national debt as it is reallocating resources. Who is provided for, who isn’t provided for and why or why not are the real issues to be dealt with.
Representative Harold Rogers (R-Ky) wants “negotiations that would provide appropriators with a realistic spending level to fund the government in a responsible — and attainable — way.” Yet what is responsibly attainable? Rep. Rogers doesn’t seem to take into account his own paycheck in the face of thousands of government employees forced to work without compensation while half of the House ignores their rolein the problem. For all of Paul Ryan’s elitist measures, he at least has the merit to donate his paycheck to charity through the duration of the government shutdown.
I agree that certain facets of our government are problematic. But when it comes to citizens’ basic needs, I want a country and government that empowers its people to be the best they can be by allowing them, in one respect, affordable health care. Community is important – and in no way am I advocating cuts to subsistence programs – but the way a growing sentiment suggests that “this is not a country where only those with money get treated, there are programs and charities for those that can’t afford health care” is problematic. I don’t want a country that pities people through programs and charities. I want a country and government that regulates the over-privileged in order to allow a redistribution of wealth and therefore access to certain inalienable rights. If all we’re operating off of at the end of the day is a self-serving, fear-induced response then I am grievously worried about the future of this country.
We live now in a very weary, very un-peaceful world. We are especially made weary, and perhaps cast into despair, by the war in the land where Jesus was born. His birth there is one reason the land is deemed “holy.” Can we celebrate a “Holy Night” when an un-holy war rages in this holy land?