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Shutdown: 48,000 lives hang in the balance (10/13/2013)
From: Bruce Montplaisir

Altura, Minn.

For more than 20 years, I attended both Republican and Democratic caucuses and never once heard a proposal that we increase our expenditures, decrease our revenues and see what happens. When Ronald Reagan was running up the deficit in the 1980s while telling us his tax veto pen was armed and ready for those bills proposing to pay for his expenditures, I thought he had a plan to reverse the trend he had started.

In 2004, I asked my brother-in-law, who was chairman of the Otter Tail Republican Party at the time, what their plan for dealing with these big deficits they were running up was. His response was ďI donít know what you are talking about.Ē That fall I voted Democrat.

Now, as we are recovering from 20 years of Republican rule at the national level and eight years of Republican rule at the state level, the Republicans are once again devising a way to devastate our economy.John Boehner is right; this is not a game for more than 40 million Americans without any type of healthcare coverage. For these people, the Affordable Care Act is a matter of life and death and an update to the 2005 Census Bureau study indicates that 48,000 of these people will die each year simply because they do not have health coverage. That is what the Affordable Care Act is all about.

I donít think abortion is an appropriate method of birth control, but it seems like the pro life party is selective in what human life it wants to protect.

When 3,000 Americans were killed on September 11, 2001, our nation was so outraged that we launched two wars ó one against a nation that had nothing to do with 911 ó because we all felt vulnerable. With 48,000 Americans dying every year because they have no healthcare coverage, they have no advocate in the pro life party because most of us have health coverage and we donít believe we will ever be included in that number.

Where do people think we got the money to provide the Bush tax cuts and double the defense budget this century? The fact is we just borrowed it, and now John Boehner says if we are going to make healthcare affordable for the Americans least able to defend themselves, he wonít allow the United Sates to pay the bills Republicans have racked up.

Our own Minnesota Representatives do not even get to vote on a clean continuing resolution to fund the government or to raise the debt limit to pay the bills we owe because to allow the democratic process to work might cause the Speaker of the House to lose his position, and that position pays him a lot of money, plus pension. His position, money and prestige are more important than the lives of 48,000 Americans.

Most Americans make it in this world even if they didnít inherit great wealth or a business from their forefathers or mothers, but the number of people that can make it without inheriting it is going to get smaller each year as the rich get richer. Without the Affordable Care Act, the trend of more Americans not having health coverage and more Americans dying each year because they do not have health coverage will be our destiny.



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