Last year’s Republican vice-presidential candidate told his fellow Republicans in a secret meeting that threatening to make the United States default on its credit obligations is Republican “leverage” to force Democrats to give in to GOP demands.
One of those demands is to give corporate bosses the A-OK sign when they stiff workers on birth control coverage in company insurance plans, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan said in the meeting, according to the Washington Post.
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Ryan also wants the GOP to keep the government shut down until the party forces Democrats to delay the “individual mandate” of the Affordable Care Act for a year.
The mandate requires individuals who are not currently covered by health insurance to purchase it. The Affordable Care Act offers subsidies to make the premiums on such plans affordable.
The idea behind the mandate is to bring down insurance rates facros the board, because if healthy people choose not to buy coverage, insurance companies will otherwise not be able to offset the costs of coverage for those who need it more frequently.
Ryan, a Catholic, also wants employers who have some sort of religious objection to birth control to be able to exclude family planning coverage from their employees’ insurance programs on grounds of “conscience.”
In a closed-door meeting, Ryan “railed” against a plan by Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins that would kick the can down the road by extending the “debt ceiling” increase until January. The debt ceiling is the amount of money the country is legally allowed to borrow. Congress routinely raises the ceiling because failing to do so would cause the country to default on its debts, causing economic chaos here and around the world.
Experts say that if the ceiling is not raised, to stave off default, the Treasury Department would use any available funds to pay the country’s debts. This scenario raised the prospect of Social Security checks being withheld and veteran’s benefits scrapped while money goes to pay big banks, Chinese bond holders and other massive financial institutions.
Sources: Think Progress, Washington Post (2), National Public Radio