After passing health care legislation to make health care more affordable, deficit hawk Democrats have let COBRA subsidies lapse for millions of Americans, who will lose their health insurance as a result.
Some conservative Democrats, however, say they don't understand why the government should subsidize workers who lose jobs with employer coverage and not others who are equally deserving — for example self-employed people priced out of the private market.Those folks aren't exactly going to be inclined to think the Dems are any better than the Republicans come November. They're going to not vote at all, or worse, vote for the Republicans just to make a point of firebagging the Dems.
"You're paying 65 percent of (one) family's health care costs, but the neighbor next door, there's no help for," said Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif. "So we're picking and choosing. There's an inequality there between our constituents." Not to mention that Congress has treated the program as emergency spending, adding its cost to the deficit.
In Marietta, Ohio, boiler operator Neil Davis is facing the loss of his job as the coal-burning power plant he works at prepares to shut down for good. Davis, 33, has marketable skills but he's unsure how quickly he'll be able to find comparable work. His wife is a stay-at-home mom raising two elementary-age children.
"Being able to have coverage at an affordable rate, we wouldn't be afraid to take the kids to the doctor if they get sick," said Davis. "The economy might be getting better some place, but I don't know where at."
I'm sure the Republicans have the best interests of the Democrats in Congress when they advise conservative Dems to vote against health insurance subsidies, too. The problem is plenty of Democrats believe it...or are believing in it as a way to justify being deficit hawks when doing so now will knock the blocks out from what little recovery there is going on.