Tipton has changed his views on defunding Obamacare

Rep. Scott Tipton has suddenly discovered that the 3rd Congressional District is not as implacably opposed to the Affordable Care Act as he had assumed it would be.

Reviewing a list of benefits to Tipton’s district as a result of Obamacare may explain the increasing popularity for a program long viewed suspiciously by a public inundated with negative propaganda against both President Barack Obama and his signature health care plan.

A report compiled by Democratic staffers to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and the Workforce describes a virtual cornucopia of benefits for the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado too lengthy to summarize here.

Despite these impressive benefits to district residents, Tipton previously has been an enthusiastic supporter of a relentless and unprincipled tea party campaign against both Obama and Obamacare.

Tipton has claimed, “There’s no question that the House wants this law repealed and replaced — we’ve voted more than 40 times to that effect.”

The people only got to vote once. In 2012, they voted by a significant margin to re-elect Obama, who campaigned on his support for the Affordable Care Act.

About a month ago, Tipton released a statement claiming, “Over the past month, in town hall meetings and through thousands of phone calls, emails and letters, I have received a strong message from my constituents — keep government open and stop the Obamacare train-wreck in the most effective way possible.”

Following House passage of a continuing resolution that excluded funds for Obamacare, Tipton said, “Ultimately, I believe that the most effective way to stop Obamacare and provide relief for all Americans from this bad law is through full repeal or a universal delay” of the Affordable Care Act.

However, after the Oct. 1 Obamacare launch, the tone of messages from Tipton’s constituents appears to have changed. “While some conservative Republicans have pointed to strong support in their districts for continuing the shutdown,” Tipton said, callers to his offices cover the spectrum, both for and against Obamacare, The Pueblo Chieftain reported.

Some House Republicans may have been preparing for the current standoff, Tipton said, but he didn’t include himself in the group. “I don’t want to see the government shut down,” he said. “This is not a benefit to anyone.”

Apparently blindsided by a GOP scheme to close the government that had been discussed for months, Tipton seemed surprised when the government regulatory agencies, centers for medical research and public health, parks and monuments, and hundreds of other “non-essential” units of government closed, and federal employees and contractors were sent home without pay.

Distancing himself from the most radical extremists in his party, Tipton conceded, “We recognize (Obamacare) is the law.”

But not “settled law” apparently. Despite legislation from Congress establishing the act, the president signing it into law, and the Supreme Court ruling it constitutional, tea party House Republicans chose to shut down the government rather than fund the act.

The House GOP extremists demanded that Obamacare should not be included in the budget. When the Senate refused on a bipartisan vote to defund the act, the House hotheads began to deflate.

In quick succession, the Senate rebuffed House attempts to delay implementation of Obamacare for one year, and, failing that, to delay the individual mandate for another year.

House tea party leaders tried to save face by gaining some concession for their ill-considered decision to shut down the government, even if it was only a symbolic gesture to establish a meaningless Reconciliation Committee to settle differences between House and Senate conservatives.

Least of all is it a benefit to Tipton or to the tea party members of the House of Representatives. Their plans to usurp authority over the legislative process in ruins, they look to the Senate to somehow extricate them from the hole they dug for themselves by shutting down the government.

Their credibility trashed, their support waning, and next year shaping up as a possible Democratic sweep of tea party seats, the once-powerful House radicals are discovering just how powerless they are without effective leadership or a viable plan to restore order to the political process.

According to recent polls, the longer the financial crisis lasts, the more Americans disapprove of the radical tea party agenda that led to the shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis.

In a final irony, the GOP attempt to discredit Obama and to gut Affordable Care Act, has completely backfired. As the Republicans fume and Democrats watch with amused disbelief, polls have showed increased support for Obamacare while the tea party House Republicans sink in the polls.

Bill Grant lives in Grand Junction. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Bill Grant’s column – “Tipton has changed his views on defunding Obamacare” – aptly chronicles Congressman Scott Tipton’s unprincipled opportunism and further illustrates why Tipton has forfeited his credibility as our 3rd C.D. Representative.

On Sunday, “Tea Partiers” demonstrated near the White House – carrying Confederate flags and demanding that President Obama renounce the Koran!  Meanwhile, Alpine Bank is admirably assisting federal employees victimized by the mindless government “shutdown”– because Congress passed a law guaranteeing that they will be retroactively paid for not working!

Moreover, as the AP reported in Monday’s Sentinel (“What happens if U.S. breaks borrowing limit”), among the impacts of default will likely be non-payment of Social Security and veterans’ benefits.  Because the “Tea Party” is substantially populated by older Americans and veterans, they were “protesting” to further fester a self-inflicted wound that may prove especially septic in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.

As The Denver Post reported two years ago—“Grand Junction suffered biggest decline of personal income in U.S. in 2010” (August 10, 2011) – significant segments of both Grand Junction’s and Pueblo’s local economies depend on “transfer payments” (e.g., Social Security, veterans’, and extended federal unemployment benefits).

Statewide, transfer payments contributed between 28% of income gains in Boulder and 70% in Pueblo.  Grand Junction, Pueblo, and Greeley were the Colorado metro areas “most dependent on government support to boost incomes.”

Thus, local businesses, realtors, and car dealers should be bracing for another “Bust” if the dysfunctional Congress fails to avert default by raising the debt limit, and Tipton’s constituents should be asking themselves why they elected an irresponsible “Tea Party” Congressman who supports policies that threaten to devastate local economies and impoverish many of the gullible lemmings who trustingly voted for him.

Both the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and The Pueblo Chieftain should call for Tipton to resign.

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