#MurkyPolitics  

I guess it's probably time to rehash what I've flooded a few other people's feeds with. The ignition for this was a comparison made by +Mark Shuttleworth of his #Canonical  products to the American #TaxedEnoughAlready  Party. 

I realize that quite a few of the people I follow are not in the US. Most, if not all of the "news"  they receive has been filtered by the Associated Press and/or Reuters; so even chances are that they have not received an accurate report of events within the US. For the sake of clarity then, I'm going to rehash the #USGovernmentShutDown  since a lot of people have demonstrated a lack of knowledge over what actually happened.

The events in play with the US Government #BudgetCrisis  started with the #AffordableCareAct . Specifically the ignition event there was the general meeting of the #AFLCIO  union which condemned the so called #ObamaCare  legislation, curiously a few weeks before the legislation was set to activate.

As I explained in my own feed here the event was not exactly that confusing from a long term perspective. The Union Leaders had been counting on being exempt from the legislation; exemptions that could be passed down as rewards to loyal union members. As the legislation came near the Unions realized they didn't have an exemption option. At which point they revolted. The Unions revolted because they knew all along that the Affordable Care Act was anything but affordable.

Point of fact, in the aftermath of going live, the average Insurance Premium Price to date, that's 10/19/2013, is three times greater for US Citizens enrolled under the Affordable Care Act... than under their previous providers.  That's not speculation: that's based on polling data from respondents who actually have converted their coverage. 

In fairness the polling figures are inherently flawed. The production website for the Insurance Entity established by the Affordable Care Act cost several million dollars... and didn't work. To date most conversions seem to have come from over-the-phone conversations; and there tends to be a distressingly low ratio of known phone calls resulting in conversions. One figure I saw tossed out averaged around 20 conversions... for every 1,900 calls taken. 

So, anecdotal evidence suggests that the Affordable Care Act isn't actually that affordable on the client end. What about on the business end?  Well, vast evidence from around the US shows a trend towards converting workers into part-time jobs that slip under the Affordable Care Act limitations. There have been various statements not just from small business entities, but from the combined unions including the AFLCIO, that the Affordable Care Act assaults the concept of a 40 hour work week. That's fairly strong rhetoric, but there is a lack evidence to date to really determine what effects the Affordable Care Act will actually have in practice. 

What we do know for a fact is that the Affordable Care Act doesn't actually address any of the existing problems with Health Care in the US.  Cases in point are as follows:

The Affordable Care Act doesn't actually do anything to stop Doctor's Offices from charging insurance an inflated figure and then haggling down; while charging cash patients far less money. 

The Affordable Care Act doesn't actually do anything to lessen the amount of insurance paperwork any single Doctor's office has to deal with. Rather, according to the Doctor's I try and stay in contact with, their paperwork and filing needs will increase. 

The Affordable Care Act doesn't actually do anything to lower or establish tax exemptions on medicines. 

The Affordable Care Act doesn't actually do anything to stop brand-name drug developers from overpricing their drugs; and then using the trade system as a battering ram to prevent generic drugs sold at affordable prices from making it hands into patients. Speaking for myself, I suffer from high blood pressure. The best drug combination, to date, that works with my body chemistry is a Bystolic / Hyzaar combination. While Hyzaar has a generic available, Bystolic does not. The practical result for me is that I currently make do with an Atenolol / Lisinopril combination that is nowhere near as effective; but is affordable. The Affordable Care Act does nothing to address the market abuses of the pharmaceutical companies; and that in turn has a direct effect on the downstream costs of health care. If it sounds like I'm saying that Forest Labs is being a jerk by way overpricing the medicine that works for me, yes, I am. 

The Affordable Care Act doesn't actually do anything to get more Doctors into Practice. I've heard time and time again that there is a shortage of both Doctors and Nurses within the United States. However, the Affordable Care Act does nothing to reduce the amount of financial and legal risk that is associated with practicing medicine; nor does the legislation reduce or simplify the costs or processes in training to become a Doctor or a Nurse. The practical result is that the Affordable Care Act does absolutely nothing to address the practical shortage of people who are qualified and trained to serve in medical professions. As such Doctors, and by extension nurses, continue to be forced to turn the costs of their education back onto their clients, e.g. the patients, which continues to escalate health care costs.

So... if the Affordable Care Act doesn't actually do anything to address any of the root issues with Health Care; what does it do?

Good Question. I don't have an answer.

Nor did Obama. We got lots of cute speeches that "Such and Such is covered under my Legislation"  but there is a large gap between Insurance Coverage  and Making Health Care Affordable.  

This brings us closer to present day. The Affordable Care Act had been shoved through Congress on a power play. With evidence continuing to mount on a near daily basis that the Affordable Care Act was deeply flawed and accomplished no actual goal to reign in health care costs, the natural solution was to simply delay the implementation of the legislation so those concerns could be addressed.

Which is where we get to the Government Shutdown.

The House of Representatives sent a budget to the Senate. The budget went through pretty much uncontested until a certain line item. The Budget called for the Affordable Care Act to be delayed for a single year; thus allowing time for the issues of the Affordable Care Act to be discussed as part of the 2014 Congressional Election Season. 

Enter #HarryReid . The Senate Majority leader told the House of Representatives point blank that either they fund the Affordable Care act NOW  or he was going to force a government shut down.

Let me repeat that. Harry Reid was the one who threatened a Government Shut Down.  

Let me clarify that:   Harry Reid, a Liberal Democrat, and totally not a member of the Taxed Enough Already Party in any form or relationship, was the one to threaten the US Government Shut Down.   

Got that? Good. Like Spaceballs, let's move on. 

That's pretty much where the excrement hit the rapidly oscillating device, and the propaganda started flowing. Various news agencies did their damnedest to make the US Government Shut Down look like the actions of members of the Taxed Enough Already party; and not the actions of their ideologically identical partner, Harry Reid. 

Slight problem, the paper trail doesn't support the story. In the aftermath of Harry Reid refusing to move the budget forward unless the Affordable Care Act was implemented as it was, right now, the House Of Representatives went into overdrive. Numerous selections of Legislation were drafted by the House of Representatives to keep the US Government Functioning into Harry Reid's shut down. 

Harry Reid used his position as Senate Majority leader to prevent votes, or to block, these partial selections of legislation. 

That's established fact by the paper trail.

Harry Reid was A-Okay  with holding the US Government Employees hostage, preventing those federal employees from receiving paychecks or carrying on their jobs. 

By extension of the public voting trail and legislation submission trail, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was also A-Okay  with holding federal employees hostage. 

In addition, Harry Reid's direct boss in the White House, Barack Obama, refused to even consider any  legislation that did not include the immediate activation of the Affordable Care Act. Nor did Barack Obama take any steps to try and convince Harry Reid that maybe it was best to go ahead and spend a year addressing the issues with the Affordable Care Act. Ergo, Barack Obama is just as culpable in the hostage holding of US Federal Employees.

Now, let me make this clear here. There is a difference  between a US Federal Budget that eliminates jobs, departments, or even entire branches; and what Harry Reid did. Such budgets often include measures that give the affected staff time to find new jobs as well as get their affairs in order. Harry Reid's actions directly affected existing US Federal Staff that were given no warning of their (temporary)  job losses. 

The events finally culminated in an unpleasant decision for US Republicans, and by extension members of the TEA Party. If they, the Republicans / Tea Party members, continued to press for a delay in the Affordable Care Act, innocent Federal Employees would continue to suffer.  So, let people suffer, or sign a cease fire and bring the issue back in the 2014 congressional season?

Which is what happened. The debt ceiling was given a short-term lift, the Affordable Care Act was funded, and the hostages were let go. 

I would like to remind people that at no point did Harry Reid, or the congressional Democrats under him, ever broach the subject of reigning in the US Government's Federal Spending. No attempt was made to open a dialog over whether or not the Federal Government needed to spending all that money in the first place. 

This behavior is what the #TEAParty  fights against. The objective of the TEA Party, or those who claim membership, is to get representatives into the US Government who will fight against unchecked spending. The objective is to get representatives into Office who will try and fight Corruption, especially the kind of corruption displayed by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama that left thousands without paychecks for weeks. 

That's what the TEA Party is about.

Now, if you want to say that we are Intellectually Braindead.  

Fine. Read my feed here.

Go and read http://zerias.blogspot.com   (although it's sorely neglected these days)   

I'm pretty much a face  of the TEA Party. I am a US Citizen who is sick and tired of the corruption. I'm sick and tired of taxes going up. I'm sick and tired of watching the Democrat Party treat their constituents like dirt... and then get praised for it. 

That's what the TEA Party is. It's common people like me saying Enough is enough, throw those bums out of office.  

It's not some conspiracy run by corporate interests like Occupation Wallstreet.  It's not some religious fundamentalism gone awry. It's not "insert whatever the Associated Press or Reuters told you it is here."  

It's people who do believe in the ideas of personal liberty, personal freedoms, and personal responsibility; and then deciding to take a stand on those principles.

You know, the same things #FreeSoftware  and #OpenSource  software are supposed to promote. 
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