Jesuit magazine promotes O’s Affordable Care Act!

This article in the Jesuit magazine “America” of October 21, 2013 defends the Affordable Care Act.  Imagine a Jesuit magazine doing anything like that!  Well, O is Jesuit-trained by Jesuit priest Gregory Galluzzo through the Roman Catholic “community” organization called The Gamaliel Foundation.

Here it is:

“While some members of the House Republican
‘suicide caucus’ shrug their shoulders in, one
hopes, feigned nonchalance, and media outlets
sputter that anxieties over the shutdown of the federal
government are overblown, more than 800,000 other
Americans are wondering when they are going to see their
next paycheck. In New York harbor, Lady Liberty, like other
federal park facilities across the nation, has gone dark; and
hundreds of cancer patients, including 30 children each week,
have been locked out of their last-resort treatment at the
National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center. What little
time—and hope—these patients have left is burning away
while a gang of House Republicans fiddles with the American
government.
These are just a handful of the pernicious effects of
the shutdown that resulted on Oct. 1 after the G.O.P’s
latest effort to obstruct the Affordable Care Act. The closing
of the federal government not only shuts down so-called
nonessential services, like nutrition aid to women, infants and
children, it also means that a federal flow of $3 billion a day
into the already twitchy American economy has been cut off.
A Republican fringe has generated a major legislative
impasse, holding the national economy and majority rule
hostage to an idée fixe on the Affordable Care Act, a law that
has been passed by Congress, vetted by the Supreme Court
and signed into effect by a now twice-elected president. This
is a law intended to provide health insurance and care to
previously unmoored citizens and legal residents. It deploys a
free-market model once endorsed by Republicans in a manner
consistent with other liberal democracies since the late 19th
century, an era many in Congress seem eager to revisit. If
Congress’s health care extortionists are able to achieve even
a “compromise” remnant of the ransom they seek, it could
mean that government by fiscal hostage-taking will become a
regular and profoundly destabilizing feature of U.S. political
life.
The U.S. bishops, unhappy themselves with the
A.C.A.’s contraception mandate, nonetheless were aghast
at the political breakdown. In a letter to Congress on Oct.
1, they reminded the nation’s legislators that the proper role
of government is to “make accessible to each what is needed
to lead a truly human life,” including food, clothing, heath
care, education and culture. “In our country today, millions
of Americans struggle to meet these basic needs, through
no fault of their own, as a result
of an economy that continues to
fail to create sufficient economic
opportunities,” the bishops wrote,
adding that internationally, millions
more rely on “life saving” aid from
the United States. “This work must continue,” the bishops
said, “and human needs must be met.”
In other words: Get back to work. A shutdown may
make good political theater, but it is an unconscionable
burden on those least able to bear it.
A tolerance for some factionalism and legislative logjamming
is programmed into the nation’s constitutional
DNA, but this month’s paralysis, joining other recent
examples of ongoing dysfunction, the “sequestration” failure
and the ascendance of the fake filibuster, begins to call into
question the effectiveness of the two-party system itself.
Many Republican representatives come from conservative
districts where the only significant threat to re-election comes
from Tea Party challengers in the primaries—a dynamic that
tends to produce ever higher levels of ideological purity.
The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United
case has allowed a handful of plutocrats to become major
players on national social policy; and the permanent election
cycle means that members of Congress are forever scurrying
back to their base, however indifferent that base may be to
compromise, good government or even to reason. It is enough
to provoke longing gazes toward European parliamentary
systems.
Responsible voices within the Republican Party are
already trying to find a way out of this artificial standoff. But
even if the nation escapes this time, it is clear that something
has to change in Washington. The problem, as always, is
that the people most in need of reforming are the only ones
constitutionally empowered to make it happen.
Perhaps this latest debacle will propel a popular drive
to revisit congressional procedures and privileges, even to
force legislation to neutralize the worst effects of the Citizens
United decision. But a campaign that might result in loosening
the political stranglehold of the nation’s two dominant parties
will likely have to bubble up from below, as citizen initiatives
lead to structural reforms at the local, then state levels. This is
a reform that can only trickle up from an outraged public that
deserves—and must learn how to demand—better.”

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