Today is Tuesday, October 1, 2013. I should be writing an entire analysis of the stalemate and consequent government shutdown, but I don’t feel the need. It’s all over the TV and web anyway. Let me just say this: I do blame the tea party, especially Sen. Cruz and his cronies. One can complain about the ‘leadership’ in both parties as well as the President, but the lack of leadership is not the primary cause of this shutdown. The ACA is here to stay, it’s law, I want it; it’s a rational approach to the broken health care delivery system in this country. The tea party and other Republicans have an ideological problem with it, because it’s a federal government program. They hate federal programs. OK, that’s fine, but most people I don’t think believe replacing ‘big’ government with bad government is an appropriate path.
As I see it, conservative opposition to the ACA has less to do with ‘big’ government or cost and more to do with the fact that all Americans, rich, poor, middle-class, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, women and LBGTQ people will now be covered universally with no pre-existing conditions. This includes ‘family planning’ and AIDS treatments. The lead up to all of this has been saturated with radical conservative rhetoric denigrating poor people, women, gay people and immigrants. (Who can forget the horrific comments about legitimate rape, food-stamp recipients, marriage equality, etc.) There is no doubt in my mind that much of the opposition to the ACA has more to do with these ‘cultural war’ issues and less to do with the notion of ‘big’ government. In the end, this government shutdown is a result of an act of cultural war against the real America as it is in all of its diversity and growing social and political equality. The ACA helps move previously relegated 2nd class citizens to first class status and that riles the misogynists, xenophobes and homophobes like nothing else. It helps make everyone ‘more equal’ under the law with relatively equal access to health care without fear of being rejected for who they are, as could happen with private insurance companies and health care delivery before today.