GOP's fit over health insurance hurts my wallet

Jen Miller

House Republicans have taken their hissy fit over losing the 2012 election to a new level: They're threatening to close the government if funding for the Affordable Care Act is not revoked.

It's a stooge's move that directly affects my financial security.

They want to stop a law that could bring more affordable health care insurance to millions of Americans — including me.

A little background here.

If a continuing resolution funding the federal government isn't passed by Oct. 1, Washington will shut down.

House Republicans have a decidedly unhealthy hatred of Obamacare, as the new health care law is often called. They've voted to repeal it 42 times, only to have that effort rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate, let's see, 42 times.

So this threat to "repeal Obamacare or else" is just a last-ditch effort to … I don't know. Appease their Tea Party base? Try to make people think that health care equals welfare?

House Republicans have slapped together an alternative that's so half-baked, they've never even brought it to a vote. The entire effort seems to say, "See? You can have health insurance just so long as it isn't a victory for the president, whom we hate."

We get it. You're pissed that your party didn't win the election — again.

Perhaps that loss would have been a chance to look deep into your party's soul and see why the American public, in a majority, does not like what you're doing and will not vote for your candidate, whose own health care reform in the state in which he was governor was the inspiration for the Affordable Care Act.

But, no. Instead, House Republicans are digging in their heels and trying to hold on to whatever whiff of power they have, and they'll do anything — including tearing apart a system that will help provide affordable health insurance to a lot of people — just because.

It's time to give this one up.

Can Obamacare save you money

Can Obamacare save you money?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 48% of Americans who buy insurance are going to be eligible for subsidies and will receive an average of $5,548, which would cover 66% of the cost. Any person earning up to $45,960, or a family of four earning up to $94,200, is eligible for something. Find out how much of a subsidy you could receive.

Millions of people who are either uninsured or, like me, pay through the nose for individual health insurance are itching to buy on the exchanges once they open on Oct. 1.

There's absolutely no reason to scrap the time, money and effort that has been put into place to get these exchanges up and running and provides subsidized premiums for many individuals and families.

I'm sure the system won't be perfect, but health insurance for those of us who don't get it through an employer is beyond broken right now.

I've paid for my own health insurance for nearly a decade, and it has become unaffordable. My health insurance premium is my second-most-expensive annual bill, coming in right after my mortgage. In order to pay that bill, I've dropped to a lower plan, stopped fully funding my retirement accounts and put off home improvement projects that are sorely needed.

I'm lucky enough that on my middle-class income I can still afford to pay for some kind of coverage. But I could use some help, and millions of others who have no medical insurance need it more than I do.

It's unconscionable to kill this law before it's even been given a chance. And it's wrong to hold the entire federal government hostage as part of that effort.

We're not talking about something trivial here. We're talking about the only real plan anyone has right now to provide lots of people with health care.

Heck, we're talking my ability to afford health care.

So what's next?

On Friday, the House voted 230-189 on a bill to fund the government over the next few months that specifically says no money can be spent on the health care act.

The bill will go to the Senate, where Democrats will strip that exclusion out and send it back to the House.

Someone has to blink, and it had better be the Republican lawmakers who are putting my medical care in jeopardy.