The 113th Congress has adjourned, thankfully.
It will go down in history as one of the least productive sessions ever, and the obvious question is, "What's wrong?" Possible explanations:
- Members are too politicized.
- Members are too addicted to power.
The best explanation, however, is that the country's chief executive officer, President Barack Obama, is a really lousy leader who would prefer to go on vacations or speak to assembled masses in Podunk.
The polls tell an ugly story: 57 percent of Americans think public officials in Washington have below-average honesty and ethical standards; 54 percent think the federal government in Washington is mostly corrupt; only 21 percent have faith in the government most of the time; 53 percent disapprove of President Barack Obama's job performance (41 percent strongly disapprove), and only 10 percent say they have confidence in the House and Senate.
Now take a deep breath.
That same Congress, when it returns in September, will take up legislation that could profoundly change your life and the lives of loved ones forever.
The legislation is a continuing budget resolution, and tucked into it is money for the individual mandate in ObamaCare.
Democrats want the funding. Some Republicans don't and view the upcoming vote as the last chance to stop ObamaCare.
And where do the American people stand? Polls show that by a 2-1 margin, they want the funding delayed.
The people deserve to win this one. They grasp the basics of ObamaCare and stand to be most profoundly affected by it - all 2,409 pages of the act and the 10,000-plus pages of regulations.
Uppermost in many people's minds is that under ObamaCare, it will be even harder to get a doctor's appointment. The nation already has a shortage of 16,000 doctors, and studies have found that expanding health care coverage to 30 million more people, as ObamaCare does, will create a "crisis," especially in rural and low-income urban areas.
People also understand that ObamaCare will fundamentally change their work situation and the nation's workforce. Employers already are cutting back, hiring fewer workers and converting full-time employees to part-time in an effort to dodge the ObamaCare bullet.
Chris Conover at Duke University's Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research has studied the data and concluded, "Obamacare is accelerating a disturbing trend towards 'a nation of part-timers.' This is not good news for America."
Organized labor sees what's ahead, and three major unions have complained that ObamaCare's "unintended consequences" will be "severe" and "destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans."
The price for ObamaCare also looms large.
The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday said Obama's decision to delay the employer mandate by a year will add $12 billion to the program's cost and cut employer-sponsored health insurance for a million workers in 2014. The Government Accountability Office also reports that ObamaCare will add $1.4 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years.
ObamaCare is very bad law, then, and now is the time to call or write to members of Congress and help them find enough backbone to block ObamaCare. Here's the contact information:
- Sen. Joe Manchin, 202-224-3954 or 304-342-5855; 306 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510.
- Sen. Jay Rockefeller, 202 224-6472 or (304) 347-5372; 531 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510.
- Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, 202.225.2711 or (304) 925-5964; 2366 Rayburn H.O.B., Washington, D.C., 20515. (Capito opposes ObamaCare, and Pat McGeehan, her opponent in the GOP primary for Rockefeller's seat, has pledged his opposition to ObamaCare funding.)
If you call, you'll probably reach an aide. You can give your name and leave a message. Maybe, "Please tell (the member of Congress) that I'd like him/her to vote against all funding for ObamaCare. Thank you."
Understand this: Your health care and that of your loved ones are on the line, and the time for you to speak up is now.