Lately, House Republicans have held quite a few field hearings on their favorite subject: their contempt for the Affordable Care Act. Take a wild guess what these hearings have in common.
Several Arizona residents criticized the Affordable Care Act at a hearing Friday in Apache Junction, telling members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that they will be forced against their will to change health insurers.
Only Republican congressional members took part in the hearing, titled “ObamaCare Implementation, the Broken Promise: If You Like Your Current Plan You Can Keep It.” The only four witnesses invited to testify were residents who said they have been negatively affected by the new federal health-care program.
Audience members were not permitted to speak.
At least in theory, the point of a congressional hearing is for lawmakers to get additional information so they’re better able to craft sensible laws. That’s not, however, what Issa hopes to achieve – this was “an official congressional hearing” in which lawmakers effectively told the public what to believe, inviting hand-picked witnesses who agreed to tell Republicans what they wanted to hear.
And what about those in the audience who wanted to let federal lawmakers know that the law is working well for them and their families? They were not permitted to speak.
The local report added, “Issa said the committee is interested in hearing from those who have had positive experiences with the Affordable Care Act. He said anyone may submit testimony via e-mail.
This solemn regard for the employer as untouchable and beyond the realm of persuasion unless in violation of the law permeates the culture of American antipoverty efforts, with only a few exceptions. The most socially minded physicians and psychologists who treat malnourished children, for example, will advocate vigorously with government agencies to provide food stamps, health insurance, housing and the like. But when they are asked if they ever urge the parents’ employers to raise wages enough to pay for nutritious food, the doctors express surprise at the notion. First, it has never occurred to them, and second, it seems hopeless. Wages and hours are set by the marketplace, and you cannot expect magnanimity from the marketplace. It is the final arbiter from which there is no appeal.
So cold. I need this tonight.
I’m sad that so many people are reblobing this without a link to the source, which is an app for PC and Mac called Pixel Fireplace, by my friend Ted Martens. It’s a good app. You can roast pixel marshmallows in the pixel fireplace.