Posted by | August 4, 2011 23:00 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

Anyone who has been following politics since the 2010 Midterm elections knows that Republicans do not enter any major negotiations without taking some hostages first to help bend the Democrats to their will. During the debate over the Bush tax cuts Republicans used the unemployed, 9/11 first responders, and gays serving in the military as hostages, by threatening to cut off unemployment benefits right before the holidays, and deny votes on the Zdroga health care bill and a repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” until the rich were taken care of. During the government shutdown fight, Republicans took low-income women as hostages by threatening to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.

In preparation for the impending “Super Congress” negotiations in November, the Republicans made sure that several parts of the new health care law would lose billions in funding if a deal is not reached as part of the overall $1.2 trillion in spending that would be slashed without a deal. Two parts of the law in particular that would be eliminated are “grants to improve maternal and child health,” and some of the “subsidies to help low-income people pay their out-of-pocket expenses.” So this time around the hostages are women, children, and the poor. Typical Republican heartlessness.

Of course, being Republicans, they are brazen enough to just tell us this is their plan.

There are at least 15 provisions of the Obama health care law that will find themselves subject to this trigger if the committee is not able to come up with other cuts,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). “When I look at these, I think it gives a huge incentive to the Democrats to find cuts. What would be triggered if we can’t find other cuts would cut right into the Obama health care law.

If the “Super Congress” negotiations conclude exactly like the earlier hostage situations did, expect the Republicans to once again end up with 98% of what they ask for.

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