Urge Congress to move beyond stalemate

Advertisement

I am writing to register my deep concern about the ongoing budget crisis engulfing our nation. We must remember how the current stalemate began in order to transcend it.

A group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives refused to pass a budget approved by the Senate. Their objections to this budget centered on funding for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Funding health care for millions of Americans is not only the ethical and humane thing to do; it is also financially prudent. Individuals who lack health insurance also lack access to primary and preventive medical care. Consequently, they use more expensive walk-in clinics and emergency rooms, driving up medical costs for individuals, states and the federal government.

These uninsured individuals are not “slackers” who deserve the disrespect of Congress; the majority work full-time and contribute vitally to our nation’s economy.

Americans affected by the health-insurance crisis are not “elsewhere.” This issue affects every one of us, directly or indirectly.

Two of my adult children, despite working and (mostly) supporting themselves since aging out of my health plan, have gone without health insurance for extended periods of time. My oldest daughter finally got health benefits last August, after nearly six years working as a day-care provider and child-care director in Seattle.

Her partner works 40-50 hours weekly as an assistant chef and has no health insurance. My sister-in-law (who is self-employed) simply cannot afford the high price of an individual health plan. Such stories are far from unique.

The current approach — risking irreversible damage to our nation’s economy to avoid funding health insurance for all Americans — makes no sense, fiscally or morally.

I hope members of the Walla Walla Valley community will join me in urging our congressional leaders to move beyond this stalemate now.

George S. Bridges

Whitman College president

Comments

namvet60 6 months ago

Does your College educate by your Liberal beliefs or are the students educated by real unbiased non-political criteria?

0

PearlY 6 months ago

President Bridges has a distinguished career in academic administration, but it must have been quite a while since his focus included research. This letter demonstrates a lack of understanding both of the role the House is supposed to play in the budget process (hint: It's not just to rubber-stamp all funding that the President proposes) and the effects of the falsely-labeled Affordable Care Act (hint: It makes insurance affordable for some by making it unaffordable or vastly more expensive than it should be for others, while forcing all those who were happy with their plans to give them up).

President Bridges also doesn't understand that his daughter and her partner, as young people who are both apparently working full-time or more than full-time, will find health insurance more expensive under ACA than it would have been for them beforehand.

Young people's premiums will no longer be based on their lower costs of care, but will be increased well above their true costs in order to subsidize the premiums of older people. His daughter and her partner will only face lower premiums if they qualify for subsidy and thereby become welfare cases. And there's something undignified about a man who earns in excess of $30,000 PER MONTH praising a law because it lets his daughter go on welfare to cover her health insurance premiums, that before ACA would have been less than $100 a month for a basic plan. Even assuming she couldn't afford that despite working full-time, he couldn't kick in 0.3% of his income to help her out?

Meanwhile, older people like me who have always been frugal with their policies and their health care are being pummeled by having the kinds of policies we liked eliminated. We're being forced to buy policies loaded down with new mandates, so that even with the subsidies we will get from his daughter, our costs have doubled or more.

President Bridges has a very important and time-consuming job. It has left him with insufficient time to really study what he's talking about and he's chosen to simply adopt the political sound-bites that dominate the airways on this issue. It may speak to his well-meaning heart, but it doesn't reflect the best on Whitman College's commitment to true scholarship.

0

fatherof5 6 months ago

President Bridges is factually correct about how this mess started, by whom, and why it needs to end. Pointing out reality doesn't have to be interpreted as partisan.

To continue to insist the House isn't responsible for shutting down the government - after we knew for months it was their plan - is either disingenuous or naive. The House sent a budget bill to the Senate with a poison pill in it. They knew the Senate would not accept it. The Senate sent back a clean bill, which the House refused to even vote on because Boehner knew it would likely pass. The goal was NOT to have it pass. This isn't rocket science.

1

PearlY 6 months ago

If you were responding to my comment, you must have misread it. I didn't "continue to insist" anything about who is responsible for the shut-down. If you've really read my comments on this issue, you'd know that I never have; it's a fruitless effort. When two opposing parties both insist on having their own way, there is no objective way to decide who is "responsible" for the consequences when neither side will surrender. The blame will always follow the blamer's partisan view of who's reasons for intransigence are most valid. Either side could have conceded its position to avoid the shutdown. THAT is reality. The question of who SHOULD have conceded is inherently partisan.

You object to Republican efforts in the House to defund Obamacare as if there were something inherently wrong with the House defunding a program it doesn't like, but I noticed you never responded to my query in another thread about whether you likewise objected to efforts to defund part of the NSA surveillance program, an effort supported by 111 Democrats in the House. It isn't rocket science to guess why.

0

fatherof5 6 months ago

I don't remember the details of the NSA defunding effort to which you refer. It apparently wasn't on my radar at the time. That's why I didn't respond to it.

The first part of my comment was in response to namvet. The rest was a general response to this strange fiction circulating among some conservatives that the House Republicans (with a kick start from Sen. Cruz) were not responsible for the shut down. They were. They should be proud of their stand, if they think it was worth it. Own it.

I wasn't replying to your comment, PearlY.

0

namvet60 6 months ago

The first part of your post was "President Bridges is factually correct about how this mess started". Did the negotiations end there? NO. Were there ongoing negotiations? YES. So it is apparent that you along with the letter writer feel the Dictator allows his Scribes (the House and Senate) to prepare the legislation to the specs provided to them and that would end the negotiations. Have I missed something or has the Constitution been shredded and Democracy has left the premises?

1

namvet60 6 months ago

There is really a good reason for having three different branches of government and governed by the Constitution of the United States of America. The House of Representatives proposes legislation which is sent to the Senate to open negiotations for the passage of that legislation. When the legislation is totally rejected by the Senate Majority leader without any consultation from the rest of the Senate that is a stalemate. The House has sent multiple proposals to the Senate to no avail. It does take three to tango and the Senate Majority Leader is the culprit who has trashed the possible lifting of the shutdown. The House is not there to give the President a blank signed check.

If Mr Bridges wants to present a different scenario he should have done so as a private citizen and not under the guise of the President of the Whitman College. He is the President of an educational system that should be run on an unbiased curriculum and to educate our future leaders of America and not to try to brainwash those students to his personal beliefs. The Board should discipline Mr Bridges for not being able to decipher his personal agenda from his abilities as President of this educational system.

If I were walking down the street and someone asked me if I thought whether the Whitman College was beneficial for there childs education I would not be giving a thumbs up!

1

PearlY 6 months ago

Whitman College is a private institution, Namvet. It can indoctrinate its students any way it wants. I may disagree with the position it is taking on this issue, but I'd defend to the death its right to take it.

0

namvet60 6 months ago

My mistake and I will disregard the 2nd paragraph of above comment due to the fact that it is private institution. I understood that it was funded. (But) :) the rest of the comment stands as written.

0

MyFamNews 6 months ago

It never ceases to amaze, that many continually uphold and defend their right to an opinion on any given subject. Yet, when the President of Whitman College, as well as many local citizens voice their opinions, these same people condemn and vilify.
Then adding insult to injury, they denounce President Bridges for speaking out and demand sanctions from the institution (Whitman College). Considering some of the stuff that I read on these pages, I'm thinking you all have a right to disagree, you don't have to be disagreeable.

0

PearlY 6 months ago

Who's condemning and vilifying and denouncing and demanding sanctions? I certainly wasn't - I was polite and factual, and namvet retracted his statement. That leaves both of us just disagreeing.

0

namvet60 6 months ago

MyFamNews - are you indicating that there are certain subjects that people should not have an opinion on? You appear to be more disagreeable than just to disagree and in the mean time condemning and vilifying the opinions of local citizens. Are we back to the uneducated Red-Neck with his guns and bibles clique?

0

namvet60 6 months ago

This link comes from an Obama Media source to let you know that the President told a big fib when he stated "You can keep your Doctor and your health insurance plan if you want"! Yeah Right!

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/thousands-get-health-insurance-cancellation-notices-8C11417913

The amount of people getting hit right in the grocery money.

$300,000,000 dollars later and website is still not up and running. Very efficient government program I would say? Thats not counting the other $634,000,000 to get the program set up by amatuers.

1

Sign in to comment

4 free views left!