SUSAN DENCH

A tri-partisan shutdown solution: Obamacare for all

Posted Oct. 09, 2013, at 10:39 a.m.
Susan Dench
Susan Dench

The Spite House has made some very cold and calculated decisions regarding the mere 17 percent of the government that is currently shut down, designed to inflict as much pain and injury against Americans of all political stripes as possible.

But what kind of commander-in-chief denies elderly World War II veterans in wheelchairs access to a memorial, built through private donations, to honor their sacrifices? What sort of despicably mean and self-important politician permits government barricades to go up around such a memorial after being informed that long-scheduled — and again, privately funded — Honor Flights of these aged heroes are arriving to visit their memorial?

These heroes earned our eternal gratitude and respect, and no one — from either party — should ever forget the violence they endured on our behalf for the freedoms we enjoy, but sometimes take for granted, as Americans. But apparently, someone in the Spite House has had a bit of a memory lapse, as many Washington, D.C., monuments, usually open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, are being shut by National Park Service employees who actually had to work to close them for the first time ever, assembling barricades and putting up yellow tape to block access.

Asked Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, “What are they going to do next? Hang a drapery over Mount Rushmore?”

Shhh, Rep. Gohmert, please don’t give the Spite House any more suggestions.

Oh, did we mention that although barriers are prohibiting Americans from visiting open-air memorials, the National Park Service is allowing an Oct. 8 pro-immigration rally (read: Democrat voters) on the National Mall?

Here in Maine, “essential” personnel are handing out $100 fines to clearly frustrated visitors to Acadia National Park, who are joining other Americans across the country doing everything from cutting padlocks to spray painting “closed” signs to register their disgust.

Well, good news. I have a tri-partisan solution that hardworking taxpayers of any and every political persuasion should be excited about.

I am calling for Sen. Angus King, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Mike Michaud — Maine covers the partisan waterfront with an independent, Republican and two Democrats — to stand up and demand that the standoff come to an end if one simple demand is met: Remove all exemptions, exceptions and waivers to Obamacare.

Yep, that’s it. Pretty easy, right? Here is a chance for Maine’s representatives to embody Dirigo, or “I Lead,” and acknowledge that our elected officials are there at the pleasure of the people and that they should, indeed, be subject to the same laws they vote in for the rest of us.

I mean, if Obamacare is the nirvana of health care that President Obama is hiring PR companies to convince us it is, let’s make sure that every American, including unions, big donors and corporations, Congress and the entire Obama family gets to share in its wonderfulness.

And this must happen without delay, by the way, so Obamacare is in full swing for the 2014 elections. No political shenanigans, no picking or choosing which part of the law gets implemented when for political gain. Let’s roll!

The way this will play out is that our elected officials will keep the government shut down to coldly calculated maximum misery on the American people — did you notice who is still being paid while worker bees are not? — and protect themselves and their cronies, or they will accede to the wishes of most Americans, on both sides of the political fence, who are sick and tired of having one set of rules for the “beautiful people” and one for the rest of us.

So, Maine delegation, here’s your opportunity to get on the record.

Whose side are you playing for? Your own, and your cronies’, or the hardworking taxpayers of Maine in whose interest you are supposed to be working?

Susan Dench of Falmouth is founder and president of the Informed Women’s Network, which motivates fiscally responsible women to have an effect on the political process. Contact her at susan@susandench.com.

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