Letter to the editor | ACA success bad for the GOP

October 4, 2013 

House Republicans shut down the U.S. government to block the Affordable Care Act, claiming to have a mandate from their constituents. Let’s take a closer look.

Most Republicans are in districts that have been gerrymandered since the 2010 Census.

Doing the bidding of the national tea party and organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council guarantees large campaign war chests comfortably warding off the competition, including moderate Republicans.

Who are these constituents they listen to so closely? Not likely those who cannot afford health care. Whose free speech resonates? Donors fearing profit loss from lower-cost health insurance or legislation creating higher care standards while reining in hospital costs?

Does this sit well with the breadth of their constituents?

In the 5th Congressional District, represented by Rep. Glenn Thompson, ten of the 16 counties are among the 23 least health-insured in Pennsylvania. Eleven counties rate among the 17 poorest, with average per-capita incomes less than $20,620 (2010).

Surely his constituents would benefit from the ACA and other programs he opposes, such as food stamps.

Who calls the shots?

Thompson must march in lockstep with the radical tea party agenda or lose his seat to a stauncher tea party supporter.

On Tuesday, Fox News shrilled the Republican mantra that Obamacare is “a disaster for health care, jobs and the economy,” while state and federal health exchanges were overwhelmed with queries about signing up for health care accessible by all.

Maybe Republicans fear the ACA success.

Dorothy Blair, Boalsburg

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