It makes no sense for Obama to compromise on obamacare, the debt ceiling or the government shutdown

Democratic compromiseSo, here we are, well into the second week of our government shutdown. A great deal of spin and blame is being tossed around on the issue of funding the government while trying to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Conservative media outlets are attempting to lay blame for the government shutdown at the feet of the President, who seems to be the favored scapegoat for all ills past and present. Luckily, there is no Democratic compromise on the horizon.

At the heart of the issue: Republicans in the House claim the Senate refuses to compromise, while the Senate is rejecting any changes attached to the plans for funding the government and raising the debt ceiling. There have been dozens of anti-obamacare bills that have been defeated, a Supreme Court decision supporting the ACA as legal and allowing it to begin enrollment. Technical snafu’s aside, the sites are up and admins are working to iron out kinks in the enrollment process. The ACA process has already begun, but House Republicans are now attempting to stop a train that is already in motion.

Compromise is not always the right course. Compromise states that where there is a disagreement, the correct course must always lie between the two extremes. However it doesn’t always work that way. For example, Jack thinks New York, where he is trying to go, is in the northeast. Bob thinks it is in the southwest. So, they decide to go southeast and wind up in Florida instead.

Their mutual agreement to go the wrong way did not lead them to their goal. Here is the false compromise the House wants: we will fund the government if you take away needed healthcare from millions of uninsured people.

The purpose of the ACA is to bring healthcare to those who have been unable to afford it, without dismantling the sector of the economy that is built of insurance companies, underwriters, managed care organizations and health management organizations. Those companies provide much needed jobs. This was the solution proposed which also enforces some basic rules that protect people from insurance company shenanigans that, in the past, have had serious consequences.

democratic compromiseAgain and again when people are asked what they dislike about “Obamacare,” they answer, “The Obama part.” Dislike of the President is at the basis of much of this resistance. Republicans have stated their goal is to obstruct and interfere with anything this President touches. They are willing to force  millions to suffer and gamble with the U.S. Economy in the process to reach this goal.

Obviously the Senate is not going to cave when it comes to upholding the act. To compromise with Republicans who will hold the credibility of the U.S. economy hostage in order to dismantle the ACA which is desperately needed makes about sense as trying to reach New York by driving to Miami.

The middle is not always the right path. So much is at stake in this conflict even the more moderate Republicans seem to be saying, “Enough is enough.” They understand what will happen if our government does not pass a funding bill or raise the debt ceiling before October 17. The citizens of the United States desperately need healthcare. There is no compromise that makes sense between defaulting on our debts  and continuing the suffering of millions of people. Neither of these options are viable.


  1. Something else that needs to be driven home. The democrats have already compromised. The dollar total for the clean C/R is the figure the republicans wanted. Reid agreed to it because boehner agreed to go with a clean C/R in return for getting his number. the republicans then reneged on that part of the deal.

    While this article is right, there’s an even more fundamental point to make. There’s no sense trying to compromise with people who take everything you’re willing to give and give nothing back in return.

  2. The Republicans have backed themselves into a corner where they think they need to “get something.” They shouldn’t get anything for DOING THEIR JOB, which is governing. That requires keeping the country open and raising the debt ceiling (after all, they hold the power of the purse; the bills we are paying are the ones THEY authorized). They are not doing the President and/or the Democrats a personal favor by raising the debt ceiling or reopening the government. It is no more important to us than it should be to them. And if they “get something” out of this, I think we should, too – let’s say, remove the cap from Social Security, or we could kill the XL Pipeline, or any number of things we might propose.

  3. Speaker of the House John Boehner comments on the latest efforts to increase the debt ceiling and the government shutdown, using the usual Republican mantra:

    “We’ve been trying to have conversations with our Democrat colleagues. They don’t want to talk. The President doesn’t want to talk.”

    Really? Are you kidding?

    Bearing in mind that the Republican’s efforts, to date, seem to be focused solely on the idea of delaying – or destroying – the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare….

    Dear Speaker of the House:

    I seem to recall that rather than proposing Medicare For All, and then perhaps compromising on a health care reform package with a strong public option, Obama began with a health care plan modeled on Republican proposals originally set out by Bob Dole and implemented by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.
    I seem to recall Obamacare being funded by the individual mandate, a plan created by the Republican Party back in 1993 as a response to President Clinton’s attempt to overhaul the existing healthcare system.
    I seem to recall over 190 Republican amendments to Obamacare.
    I seem to recall President Obama dropping his election year promise of a public single-payer option to appease Republicans – a concession other Democrats strenuously objected to.
    I seem to recall then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pulling together a majority consensus to pass the Affordable Care Act by a normal House vote of 219 to 212.
    I seem to recall President Obama reaffirming the Hyde Act by way of an executive order to facilitate that vote.
    And if you want to go back even further,

    I seem to recall President Obama’s opening bid when taking office to be to move more than halfway in the direction of Republican principles. When Republicans refuse to consider Obama’s compromise proposals and took the economy hostage, Obama unilaterally offered up further compromises without getting anything back in return, which only encouraged further Republican intransigence – leading to the current government shutdown.
    I seem to recall when Obama first appointed his economic team, he did not appoint “a team of rivals” but a “team of Rubins,” drawing all of his principal economic advisors from Wall Street’s allies like Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Peter Orzag and Rahm Emanuel, rather than including some advisors with progressive views similar to those of Joe Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, or James Galbraith.
    I seem to recall that although Obama was advised that in order to bring unemployment under control, a stimulus package in the order of $1.2 trillion was needed, Obama’s opening bid was on the order of $700 billion dollars. He then negotiated a package that was made up nearly half of unstimulative tax cuts.
    I seem to recall a few weeks before the BP oil spill, Obama proposed expanding offshore drilling in the hopes of gaining Republican support for the previously Republican idea of cap-and-trade. He gained no Republican support and a few weeks later, BP began gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, with no Republican support for the Republican-originated cap-and-trade concept, it died a quiet death in the Senate.
    I seem to recall that rather than demanding that the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans expire at the end of 2010, Obama began his negotiations with Republicans by offering to extend the Bush tax cuts on everyone. Instead, he could have demanded the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans expire, and if Republicans failed to vote for this and allowed all the tax cuts to expire, gone to the American people and forced the Republicans to renew only the middle class tax cuts in the lame duck session.
    I seem to recall Obama’s past negotiations on the debt ceiling with Republican hostage-takers who threaten to blow up the economy if they don’t get their way. He offered up a plan made up of 75% spending cuts to 25% “revenue increases” (God forbid, not tax increases). When Republicans remained intransigent, he offered a plan with less than 10% revenue increases.

    • I agree. Obama should stand his ground. Enough of the Charlie Brown vs. Lucy football scenario.He should accept no strings whatever tied to the CR, the debt ceiling or Obamacare. The GOP let the Tea Party horses out of the barn and created this “crisis”. And now, seeing the polls, the GOP suddenly is no longer concerned with Obamacare, but rather some entitlement reform babble. The GOP argues that you are weak (Joe Scarborough litany). Don’t bend. Don’t yield. Don’t give an inch. And, don’t blink.

  4. House Republicans seem to have gone to radio silence about tying a Continuing Resolution or raising the debt ceiling to anything about the ACA, at least for the past few days.

    What the President and the Democrats need to do now is hang these awful poll numbers around the Republican’s necks, demand that they pass a clean CR, extend the debt limit for a reasonable amount of time and then return to what Nancy Pelosi calls the “Normal Order.” Both chambers have passed budgets, but for months John Boehner has refused to appoint conferees to the Conference Committee to hammer out a compromise budget that the President can sign. That’s why we’re in yet another manufactured crisis.

    Even this morning I heard pundits saying they expected Paul Ryan to begin negotiating directly with the President over budget compromises. What? When I heard the words “Grand” and “Bargain” I threw up a little bit in my mouth. We’ve seen this movie. We know how it ends.

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