Shutdown strategy is irresponsible

Shutdown strategy is irresponsible


Dear Editor,

As Chairman of the Chickasaw County Democratic Executive Committee, I find the strategy of the Republican Party to withhold approval of a budget and threaten to extend the debt ceiling unless the Affordable Health Care Act is rescinded and abolished to be irresponsible.

The Affordable Health Care Act was heavily debated in Congress. The United States is one of the few, if any, countries that are industrialized and have the gross annual income that we have that does not make some provision for health care for all of its citizens.

The Affordable Health Care Act has many beneficial provisions including elimination of pre-existing conditions riders, allowance of children to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26, reduction in the cost of medical care, emphasis on preventative care instead of simply curing illnesses and many other valuable provisions.

The Republican Party fought Social Security and called in socialism. The Republican Party fought Medicare in the 1960s. Where would we be today if we did not have Social Security for the elderly? For many individuals Social Security is the only income they have upon retirement because they do not have a retirement plan or pension plan and do not have adequate savings for retirement. Many in their retirement years – and I myself am quickly approaching the age of 62 – depend solely on Social Security to survive.

At the time it was passed it was controversial but as the years have passed it has become widely accepted as one of the most important benefits the government provides. Medicare provides health insurance for individuals over the age of 65 and also certain individuals that are disabled. The idea of doing away with Medicare would be ludicrous. Medicare is the primary insurer of almost all individuals over the age of 65.

The Affordable Health Care Act also provided coverage to increase the rolls of Medicaid in Mississippi, which our governor declined to accept and which would have provided additional coverage for several hundred thousand people. The health care issues have been thoroughly debated and a decision was made by the Congress.

Bald-face lies and misrepresentations have been told by individuals opposed to the Affordable Health Care Act in an effort to scare the public when most Americans will benefit greatly from the legislation. The idea of shutting the government down, which could delay receipt of Social Security checks and other government checks, and which would close most government functions including any non-essential emergency government office is irresponsible. I strongly recommend that you call your congressman and advise him that you feel that utilizing the debate over healthcare reform and the Affordable Health Care Act as hostage to pass a balanced budget and also to increase the debt ceiling is irresponsible and that you will hold your representative accountable if he fails to pass a balanced budget without consideration of the Affordable Health Care Act and fails to extend the budget ceiling.


Gene Barton

Chairman, Chickasaw County Democratic Committee

Okolona, Miss.



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