CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Republicans in Congress, backed by fundamentalist and tea party groups, are going all-out to prevent 30 million "working poor" Americans from obtaining health insurance.
Here's one facet of the battle: The American Family Association -- known for its hostility to gays and its desire to revoke women's right to choose -- asked its 2.5 million members to "flood the Capitol switchboard" with nonstop calls demanding that Congress halt funding of the Affordable Care Act.
The white evangelical organization supports a House resolution to wipe out financing for the ACA. "The House can stop Obamacare in its tracks this week," President Tim Wildman announced. "No money, no Obamacare."
Why, for heaven's sake, would a gay-hating religious outfit want to block medical coverage for millions of American families? Maybe its leaders should read the commandments by Jesus to care for the sick and the poor.
Tea party Republicans threaten to shut down the U.S. government, rather than let the ACA go into effect. House Resolution 62 would supply money to keep the government afloat temporarily through mid-December -- but only if Obamacare is scuttled. Keep watching to see how West Virginia's two House Republicans vote in the tally expected today.
Former Republican Allan Tweddle of Charleston wrote angrily to Rep. Shelley Capito this week, saying it would be idiotic for the GOP to "shut down the government because you don't like the ACA." Tweddle said he and fellow investors plan to create an aerospace manufacturing firm -- but they will locate it in Canada "where they have single-payer universal health care" that removes insurance costs from employers.
Far-right Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says it's crucial for Republicans to throttle Obamacare before it takes effect -- because, once it's established, Americans will become "hooked on the subsidies" and won't want to relinquish the ACA.
Of course, the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate won't accept the House's destruction of Obamacare. Senate rejection would throw Congress into another deadlock -- which could mean that funding for the U.S. government would lapse in early October.
It seems insane to shut down the federal government to prevent an expansion of health care.
Meanwhile, Republicans also threaten a second U.S. shutdown when it's time to raise the national debt ceiling in mid-October.
Sometimes it seems that madness is running amok in Washington.