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Republican war against the poor

Created: 09 August, 2013
Updated: 26 July, 2022
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3 min read

Editorial: 

If we are to believe what we hear from conservative Republicans such as Ted Cruz, Congress is prepared to shut down the government with budget gridlock over the funding of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

This follows the House of Representatives passing a bill, the 40th bill so far, against the healthcare reform. This bill like the first 39 bills has little chance of going anywhere!

This is a great example of conservative Republicans pandering to their Tea Party base, as they head to home during their summer break to face their constituencies, where not only will they have to face the voters over the question of Obamacare, but the even more difficult issue of immigration reform.

When Obamacare was passed, it was described as a huge step in meeting the needs of the 45 million Americans who were uninsured and the 25 million who were underinsured. As the richest country in the world this was seen as a long overdue humanitarian step toward helping the poor in the United States.

Most Republicans don’t see the benefits of Obamacare, despite the fact that nearly 2 million veterans and 8 million children will soon have health care.

Insurance companies will no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions – from asthma to allergies to old injuries. Young adults may stay on the their parents insurance up to age 26, and insurance companies may no longer limit the amount of coverage available to those who face expensive medical conditions.

Instead, Republicans see Obamacare as government intrusion, primarily on big business from making their profits, and as a tax on the middle class.

That is just one battle Republicans are waging against the poor. The other battle is over Food Stamps.

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Food Stamps used to be a part of the Farm Bill. Farmers would get subsidies and the city folk would receive their Food Stamps. The Senate Republicans had issues with the cost of Food Stamps, wanting to cut $20 billion from the Food Stamps program. In order to get the bill passed they separated Food Stamps from the Farm Bill which then passed, giving billions of dollars to the farmers. House Republicans don’t seem to have a problem giving billions to millionaires, it is the poor they seem to despise. Mind you, farmers receiving subsidies are not the nostalgic mom and pop farms but mega corporate farmers. The ball is now in the hands of Congress who wants to continue with the traditional Farm Bill formula which includes Food Stamps, but they won’t have much time before the Sept 30th deadline before the farm aid programs expire.

Then there was the plan by Rep. Paul Ryan who wanted to slash $15 billion from the Pell Grant program in order to balance the budget. Pell Grants are designed to help the poorest of the poor attain a college degree, hoping to break the cycle of poverty.

Republicans will tell you their war is against an out of control budget, but the casualties will be the poor, Hispanics, Blacks, and other minorities and the winners will continue to be the wealthy.

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