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Letter to the editor: Senators, you have created the problem

Friday, October 11, 2013 - 12:01 am

An open letter to Indiana’s senators:

As I am sure you are aware, on Sept. 20, the House passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government until 2015 minus funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

What you may not be aware of is that the decision to remove appropriations for the PPACA under the CR that raises the debt ceiling was not a fight Republican House leaders wanted to wage. The decision to risk a government shutdown over the defunding of the health care law came directly from crowds of people in their districts on both sides of the aisle.

Why? I’ll give you four very good reasons:

1) Because the PPACA has proven problematic for businesses that have responded to its passage by cutting back on employment, hours and benefits, which is stifling economic recovery.

2) Because the PPACA empowers Health and Human Services to mandate to physicians and insurance companies what medical questions to ask, what tests to suggest be performed and what treatments to offer patients.

3) Because the PPACA gave birth to the federal data services hub, an ominous, unsecured network that stores all kinds of personal data that is shared among various federal departments.

4) Because the PPACA excludes members of Congress and their staffs, who for some reason acknowledge that good wages and benefits are important variables in gaining and retaining good help in the public sector but reject the notion that the private sector works the same way.

The PPACA, a revenue generating bill, illegally originated in your chamber of Congress. It has been your chamber of Congress that has repeatedly rejected attempts to repeal the law; it has been your chamber of Congress that has continually refused to replace the law with non-intrusive, market-driven health care reforms; and it will be your chamber of Congress that suffers the wrath of the growing number of Americans who are realizing that the health care law does not function as advertised.

I strongly urge you to refrain from telling stories of how mandatory spending cuts are not a regular part of the annual appropriations process or offer up bills that simply delay the implementation of the individual mandate without removing funding for the rest of it. We have seen the damage the PPACA has wrought on personal choice, privacy and the economy; we know that Congress has control of the nation’s purse strings; and we know that you have the power to force the president into, reluctantly, conceding his position on the PPACA by leaving him alone to defend it.

Gary Hall