Americans United for Change, the group working to support Obama initiatives, is a day late but nonetheless right on the money in response to Republicans’ sudden concerns about making the Affordable Care Act work. After all, the same four Arkansas Republicans who are suddenly concerned voted to shut down government in an attempt to kill it entirely. Their Republicans in Arkansas are also trying to stifle it here, by preventing advertising of the options and by joining the House members from Arkansas in misrepresenting key facts about the new health exchange options.
Said Americans United’s news release:
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR-2) and Republicans in Congress must think the American people have the memory of a goldfish – that the public would forget that Republicans shut down the government less than a month ago in their most brazen and costly attempt to kill or cripple the Affordable Care Act to date. But now Republicans on the House Committee on Ways and Means including Congressman Griffin expect the public to believe they suddenly care about the plight of the uninsured by holding a public hearing today on the “problems Americans are experiencing with the Obama Administration’s launch of the Affordable Care Act.”
These ‘concerns’ don’t pass the laugh test. Republicans like Congressman Griffin have zero credibility complaining about implementation glitches when they opposed the Affordable Care Act at its inception, have done everything in their power to delay, repeal, defund the law every day since, have repeatedly blocked funding needed for implementation, and whose entire health plan is to let the insurance companies go back to denying coverage to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions and dropping people when they get sick.
UPDATE: At the Republicans’ show hearing in Ways and Means today, one Democratic congressman rose in outrage at the hypocrisy and leveled some of his blast at U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin.
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) slammed Republicans for failing to support the Affordable Care Act once it became law, challenging them to go back to their districts and tell their constituents that they’ll be taking away their coverage
“What are you going to do about the approximately 17 million children with preexisting conditions who can no longer be denied health insurance coverage,” Parscrell asked the GOP during a House hearing on Obamacare. Standing up and pointing his finger at the other side of the aisle, he continued, “We want to go back and want to say you are no longer covered any longer — are you going to tell the parents of those kids?”
When Griffin tried to claim he’d proposed alternatives, Parscrell would have none of it. He told Griffin:
Are you serious what you just said? Are you really serious? After what we’ve gone through and what we’ve gone through in the last three and a half years? Have you — you can sit there and say, that you had a legitimate alternative after these years? We’ve gone through 44 votes, 48 votes now, of you trying to dismantle the legislation. You call that cooperation? I don’t!
Watch him hand Griffin his hat.
AMERICANS UNITED RELEASE CONTINUES
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “It’s really rich for Republicans to be shedding crocodile tears over the glitches in the ACA website when they have done nothing for four years but try to impede, repeal and defund the law and root for its failure. After voting repeatedly to leave uninsured Americans with no affordable coverage options at all and to leave insured Americans susceptible again to the worst insurance industry practices, are we really to believe Congressman Griffin gives a spit that Americans are having trouble enrolling in a health plan? This is a transparent attempt by Republicans to score political points around road bumps in the health law’s implementation and distract from the fact that they just left 120,000 Americans without jobs by shutting down the government in the name of Obamacare. It’s not fooling anyone, and it takes a lot of nerve. If Congressman Griffin were truly concerned about how smoothly the health law’s implementation is going, he would stop throwing monkey wrenches into the process every chance he gets. You could call what Griffin and Republicans are engaging in hypocrisy but that would be an insult to hypocrites.”
“The GOP’s phony ‘concerns’ notwithstanding, we have every confidence that the administration’s tech surge under way will fix what needs fixing and open up the doors for even more uninsured Americans to finally get the affordable, quality care they deserve,” added Woodhouse. “Of course, the website glitches don’t effect the majority of Americans who already have insurance. They still have the peace of mind knowing that ACA’s new benefits and consumer protections from insurance industry abuse has added many layers to their health security.”