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Dave Ross

Shutdown countdown

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., smiles as he leaves the floor of the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. The GOP-controlled House passed a bill that would prevent a government shutdown while crippling the health care law that was the signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama's first term, (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

One week to go before a threatened government shutdown.

“Let’s defund this law now, and protect the American people from the economic calamity that we know Obamacare will create,” says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

You’ll be hearing a lot of well rehearsed soundbites.

“I’m happy to have that debate with him but you don’t have to threaten to blow the whole thing up,” says President Barack Obama.

Each side is claiming to do what the American people want. But what the American people want is complicated.

For example: A Fox News poll last week that found that 60 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Obamacare. [Although when they asked the question using the official name “The Affordable Care Act” it dropped to 55 percent.]

However, at the same time there was a Gallup poll released just last Friday, after the Navy Yard Shootings, which found that 80 percent of Americans – far more than hate Obamacare – think the mental health system deserves at least a fair amount of the blame for these mass shootings. Conservatives in particular, think dealing with mental illness is much better than passing more gun laws.

Well Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act if you prefer, vastly expands mental health coverage, including screening adults for depression, screening children for behavior problems, and preventing insurance companies from turning away anyone because of a pre-existing mental health condition.

So – in a nation with something like 200 million guns, and no appetite for gun control, do Americans really want mental illness to continue to go untreated? And shouldn’t we hear a real debate about this kind of stuff before the two sides go off into their corners and pout?

Medved: No honest Republican thinks Obamacare can be stopped

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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