Moral pork. That’s what I’m going to start calling it when Republicans either in their state legislatures or in the House of Representatives tack on socially conservative morality laws into bills aimed at completely different issues. Remember the motorcycle safety law that was actually just a clever disguise for a draconian abortion bill in North Carolina? Believe it or not, that wasn’t law about the very rare and specific practice of performing abortions on motorcycles — it was just that North Carolinian Republicans thought they were being clever by sneaking abortion laws into a last-minute bill. It appears that the Republicans in our House of Representatives have taken a page from North Carolina’s book, because last night as they were voting to essentially shut down the government by sending a budget to the Senate that delays Obamacare for a year, they also managed to sneak in an anti-contraceptive measure to boot.
Despite a veto threat from President Obama and pleas from Republicans in the Senate, House Republicans pushed forward with their budget that delays Obamacare for a year. This is already going to make their budget dead on arrival when it hits the Democratically controlled Senate. But not content to just try to screw a few-dozen million people out of access to affordable health care, Republicans also managed to throw a little red meat to the religious fundamentalists in their base by putting a “conscience clause” into the budget bill that would allow employers to opt out of paying for medical goods or services they object to based on their own personal morality, and not having anything to do with the person who is actually getting the services performed.
Apparently the move to put the anti-contraception clause in their budget was so clandestine that even Democrats in the House had no idea that they’d snuck the provision in. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) said of this latest shameful display of just how far out of touch the GOP is, “What part of their social agenda will they not stick into a budget bill?” Continuing, Becerra added, “Now they want to reignite the war on women? It makes for theater, and that’s what it is. If it weren’t so serious, it would be hard not to laugh.”
The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges open nationwide on October 1st, 2013. So literally in a matter of hours Republicans on the Hill know that all their political efforts and energies will have been utterly wasted because the opening of the exchanges means Obamacare “happens.” This what they’ve been clawing and scratching at for the last four years, bitterly fake-repealing the healthcare reform act over forty times. However, once those exchanges open and people can see what rates in other states look like — states that embraced Obamacare — the blindfolds will drop and barring the ACA being a complete and unmitigated disaster, the GOP will lose the fight over it forever, just as they have over Social Security and Medicare, despite decades of trying to gut or completely eliminate those programs too.
That sound you hear is just merely the sands of the House Republicans’ hourglass quickly falling through and piling up on the bottom, marking the close of and embarrassing chapter of their existence.