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David Gaul
Shelby County Democratic Party Co-Chair

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David Gaul
Donna Clothier
Kathleen Cue


Thirty-nine Democrats won't be receiving a Profile in Courage Award anytime soon, and I'm sorry to have to rag and nag on Iowa Congressmen Bruce Braley and Dave Loesback.  Both voted "yes" on HR 3350, the Upton Bill, in John Boehner's House of Representatives on Friday. They voted with Republicans to weaken the Affordable Care Act. 

Section 2 of this bill reads thus:

IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (including any amendment made by such Act or by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010), a health insurance issuer that has in effect health insurance coverage in the individual market as of January 1, 2013, may continue after such date to offer such coverage for sale during 2014 in such market outside of an Exchange established under section 1311 or 1321 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 18031, 18041).

This is the key provision of the bill that rips the heart out of the ACA.  The underlined portion gives health insurance companies the power to keep offering cheap, worthless insurance to the gullible and stupid.  Furthermore, the underlined portion allows health insurers to keep putting in pre-existing riders into the policies it issues and to keep selling those policies in defiance of the Affordable Care Act. 

And thirty-nine Democrats in the House of Representatives voted for this piece of highly refined colon extract.  This is not a laudable vote, ladies and gentlemen.  This is not a vote anyone can be proud of.  This is a vote that smacks of jellyfishism.  This is a vote that will only win plaudits at the International Convention of Wus Aficionadios, the ICWAs.

And what does it achieve?  Was it merely for political gain?  Does anyone seriously think for one second that next November 4th, John-Q voter is going to step into the voting booth and say to himself, "I'm voting for Bruce Braley because he voted for the Upton bill!" 

First of all, anyone who hates Obamacare isn't voting for a Democrat.  It's not going to happen.  Even if a Democrat dove in front of an oncoming semi-truck and saved an Obamacare hater's beloved poodle named Sashi from being turned into something flatter than a pancake, he would still not receive an Obamacare-Hater's vote.  So stop trying!    Light itself has a better chance of escaping from a black hole.

Secondly, you can't ride the fence.  You can't have it both ways, unless it's a vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream cone.  You can't be for the Cardinals and the Cubs or the Yankees and the Red Sox at the same time when it comes to the issue of the Affordable Care Act.  A Democrat voting for the Upton bill is like adding water to the crankcase of an engine.  I don't care what expedient political argument that's made in defense of such a vote.  It's feckless and foolish, two f-words that no politician should ever aspire to.

The Affordable Care Act belongs to the Democrats.  We own it.  Deal with it.  Make it work.  Stop trying to run from it.  Take the reins and ride it out.  No Republican is going to try to make it better.  Fred Upton doesn't care a rodent's backside for the Affordable Care Act.  Voting for his bill or any Republican bill regarding the ACA is like throwing puppies into a fast-moving stream.  Don't ever do it!  There are plenty more metaphors and similies where these have come from. 
Remember, Republicans recently shut down the federal government and took us to within a gnat's eyelash of default all in an effort to kill the ACA.  They lost.  The strategy blew up in their faces.  Don't help them now with something that's less destructive but just as insidious.  Their goal is the same, and Democratic votes for the Upton bill only will only encourage them to shut down the government again in the new year and have us dance with default once more.

I like Congressman Braley.  He recently came here to Shelby County.  It was good turnout.  We all liked what he had to say.  We're going to support him in his race for the Senate seat now held by Tom Harkin, but there are enough votes in this state to put him over the top without compromising on something this important.  Tom Harkin has never been described as a blue-dog Democrat, and I want his Democratic successor to have that same distinction.

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Tags:   Bruce Braley, Upton, Affordable Care Act, jellfishism

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