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The Observer Paper 12/22/14

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The courts won’t clean the mess

In letters to the editor written by Glen Scheele and Evelyn Smart, The Observer readers were informed that Eastern Oregon is represented by Congressman Greg Walden, who voted against raising the debt ceiling.

Scheele wrote: “Republicans in the House and Senate hoped to derail the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare. Republicans ignored the fact that the law was the product of 14 months of negotiations and compromises that were upheld by the Supreme Court.”

Only by tortured logic could a rational person arrive at the conclusion that “compromise” was part of law passage. Fact is, at the time of voting, the Speaker of the House (a Democrat) said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.” Her statement alone shows compromise was not part of bill debate. One must have knowledge of bill provisions before compromise is possible.

Second, “it was upheld by the Supreme Court.” Hardly! Supreme Court Justice Roberts ruled: “The Interstate Commerce Clause could not be used to require people to purchase anything.” Next, Roberts addressed the merits of Obamacare along these lines. The people should not expect the Supreme Court to clean up their mess. They have the power to do so themselves. An election is coming up and they can take care of any problems at that time.

The election was held and the people reelected a Democrat to lead them for the next four years. Results, no changes to status quo. Roberts next addressed how to fund Obamacare. Answer? The power to tax as spelled out in the Constitution.

Republican Walden as a leader of the Republican party understands what Justice Roberts meant when he referred to Obamacare as a “mess.” The newly elected Democratic president, whom the law is nicknamed after, said, “no changes allowed,” except to develop a taxing system as permitted.

The Republican house majority including Walden fully understand what more taxes would mean to the American people. They decided to try and stop the implementation of Obamacare. Taking to heart Justice Roberts’ admonishment it was “a mess,” they sent 40 bills to the Senate. If passed, Obamacare would not be funded. No funds, no law! Had this happened, the debt limit increase law would have passed and all the costs stated in Scheele’s letter would not have come about. Obamacare stopped, the House and Senate could hold hearings for a new health law that would replace what we now have, if one is deemed necessary.

There is an old saying, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is a sign of mental illness.”

Walden campaigned for election on the core principle of analyzing what the proposed legislation actually does and voting “for” or “against” the bill on the basis that the proposed law will be beneficial or not beneficial for the people he represents. Such action is called “following the courage of your convictions.” Better stated, Representative Walden heeded what Supreme Court Justice Roberts said, “Obamacare is a mess. It is the people’s responsibility to clean up their own messes. Don’t expect the Supreme Court to do it for them.


My Voice

Stephen Donnell of La Grande served as Eastern Oregon University’s physical plant director from 1967 to 1976. My Voice columns should be 500 to 700 words. Submissions should include a portrait-type photograph of the author. Authors also should include their full name, age, occupation and relevant organizational memberships. 

We edit submissions for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We reject those published elsewhere.

Send columns to La Grande Observer, 1406 5th St., La Grande, Ore., 97850, fax them to 541-963-7804 or email them to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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