The answer is no.
There should be no compromise over the Affordable Care Act. It is a duly passed law of the land that will make positive changes in the lives of millions of Americans. It will give them financial and wellness security. It will change, for the better, the way in which health care is delivered in this country. It's already led to far-reaching changes in the way that hospitals, health care organizations, doctors and pharmaceutical companies operate.
Checkups and physicals are now free.
Children can stay on thei parents' policies until age 26.
You cannot be denied insurance if you have a preexisting condition.
And for all of this, a minority in the government and in states where the greatest number of uninsured citizens live, who have convinced themselves that this law will lead to the untimely, government-sponsored deaths of grandmothers throughout the country, want to tie it to a devastating shutdown of the federal government.
The answer has to be no.
They tried to kill the bill altogether last week, using parliamentary shenanigans that went nowhere and incurred the wrath of Republicans who normally would go along with whatever the party wanted. Now all they want is to delay the Medical Devices tax, which supposedly Democrats fear will lead to higher costs and more backlash.
Because it's clear that the Republican extremists will not stop there. They tried a full kill. Now they want a delay? Does anybody think that they'll stop at the Medical Devices tax? Is that the endgame? Will John Boehner, Ted Cruz and Eric Cantor stand side-by-side on a podium in triumphal mode because the Medical Device tax will be delayed? Oh, that's in addition to approving the XL Pipeline and defunding the Consumer Protection Board and lowering taxes on the wealthy and everything else the Republican Party ran on and LOST in 2012? Will this make the GOP happy and go away?
They want to whole thing gone, and if the Democrats fold on this they will rue that day because the rest of the bill will get flushed away later in October when the GOP decides to throw it in as a condition for raising the debt ceiling. That's the danger.
So my message to the president and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Dick Durban is to borrow another Republican idea from the halcyon days of bipartisanship of the 1980s:
Just say no.
If you don't, you will have lost me and millions of others who feel the same way that I do.
You have been warned.
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