Yael T. Abouhalkah

Another wasted day in America: Obama speaks while U.S. House defunds Obamacare

Updated: 2013-09-22T00:10:51Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

Friday was another toxic political day in America, with a fiery political speech by President Barack Obama in Kansas City and more dithering in Washington.

Speaking at a Ford factory, Obama ripped into Republicans who he said are passing bills to hurt middle-class Americans partly because the GOP hates him so much.

Meanwhile, back in Washington — and as if to prove the president’s point — the Republican-controlled U.S. House approved a measure aimed at defunding the Affordable Care Act.

With that, the GOP set up a fight with the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, which is likely to ignore the defunding of Obamacare and, well, that’s that.

Except it’s not.

Because all of the posturing by Obama in Kansas City and the pontificating in Washington are leading up to a point of crisis that could really damage the American economy.

Congress needs to lift the debt ceiling so America can pay its bills. Nothing new here. Administrations and past Congresses have approved these debt votes dozens of times in the past.

But in the political atmosphere today, Obama and the Republicans may eventually hunker down and do .... nothing.

If that happens, a government shutdown could occur. Bills for all kinds of worthwhile programs financed by the federal government would not get paid. Overseas economies would be adversely affected as well.

The president, while he was in Kansas City, said he didn’t want all of these bad things to occur. He made a good case for going ahead with the debt ceiling vote.

Republicans, though, at least have a chance at getting the president to somehow bend to their wishes if they can strike some kind of deal to delay or even defund Obamacare in exchange for allowing the debt ceiling vote to occur and pass.

Sure, that’s a long shot. In fact, it’s entirely possible — as supporters of Obamacare have said for weeks — that the GOP’s last-gasp measure regarding the debt ceiling vote is being taken precisely because they are scared the Affordable Care Act will actually work.

In other words, once it takes effect, Americans will love it.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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