Another enrollment period is now open (until Dec. 15) for the American absurdity known as obamacare (the name is not worth capitalizing, the only ones capitalizing on this political boondoggle are Washington politicians and the K Street lobbyists who keep the politicians' family jewels in a Mason jar).

According to the feds and their taxpayer-funded website, “finding the right plan can be difficult. Each plan has its pros and cons, especially considering how costs can vary depending on the plan's monthly premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

“The good news is that summarizes all the key info for you, making it easy to compare your options and decide. Whether you prefer to lower your monthly premiums with a bronze or silver plan, or need to lower your out-of-pocket cost with a gold or platinum plan – we have you covered.”

To that statement, two words come to mind. The first one is “bull.” Perhaps as a compound word, one word may suffice. I’ll bet you can figure it out, especially if you are among the millions of middle-income workers who are not receiving taxpayer-funded medical coverage – not even an aluminum plan.

Sadly, the majority of today’s members of congress (yes, you elitist senators, keep your pants on for a change, I am including you as members of congress) have no freaking clue what obamacare is doing to working Americans. Yes, those same working Americans who pay your incredibly inflated salaries, inflated pensions, perks and yes, your medical coverage.

Collectively, all member of congress (like obamacare, no longer worth capitalizing) ought to apologize to working Americans for this ruse. Especially the do-nothing republicans (yes, another well-deserved lower-case usage).

For seven long years, you republicans railed against obamacare, didn’t you? Hello? Your silence today proves your previous deception.

The house (lc for little commitment) even presented meaningless bills to repeal obamacare when its namesake was still playing around in the oval office. Some, in the equally feckless senate, also championed the repeal of obamacare. That was then.

Meanwhile, all of you politicians knew full well that your quasi-conservative words sounded good at the Lincoln (we’ll still capitalize that one) chicken dinners back in your districts and presented no personal challenges because then-president obama wasn’t going to sign anything that landed on his desk to repeal his “legacy” legislation.

Earlier this year – with gop majorities in both the house and senate and a supportive president – congressional republicans were silenced. Their erstwhile determination and vigor to repeal and replace obamacare has gone AWOL.

I don’t expect a single member of congress to know what it is like for someone who works hard 52 weeks a year, only to be penalized through the politically drunken farce of obamacare with an added tax for non-compliance of that which said worker simply cannot afford.

To the congressmen Chabots and Wenstrups and senators Portmans and Browns (two of whom I have endorsed on multiple occasions) who are paid to represent Ohio, let me ask: Has any one of you ever been in a situation in your lives where you were working for $30,000 annually, paying your local, state and federal taxes, plus sales taxes, etc., and forced to purchase something that could, in theory, cost you $18,800 of that $30,000 – before purchasing a single aspirin?

Is it any wonder that working Americans supported a blowhard like the current president? I am reasonably confident that the Brown, Portman, Chabot, Wenstrup, et. al. coalition in congress had no idea of the uprising that occurred around this time last year. Look no further than obamacare.

Even the clinton news network has reported on the lunacy of forcing working Americans to send up to 90 percent of their income to the government for medical coverage that probably isn’t worth horse spit to begin with.

In a report at, “For many middle-class Americans – a single person earning more than $47,520 or a family of four with an income of $97,200 – the pricey premiums and deductibles mean health care coverage remains out of reach. 'The middle class are getting squeezed,' said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. 'They aren't getting subsidies, and these deductibles are hard to afford.'"

According to the report, “In 2015, 46 percent of uninsured adults said that they tried to get coverage but did not because it was too expensive, a Kaiser study found.”

For not being able to afford obamacare, not only are these working Americans living without insurance – especially without so-called catastrophic coverage – they also are being forced to pay a penalty for being uninsured. (supreme court justice john roberts, who signed off on ob-care, must be thrilled that he doesn’t have to walk down Main Street, USA to get to work.)

Now, there are members of congress who will tell you that they and their respective staffs also are on obamacare. Don’t fall for that bull spit for a second.

Some of the bought-and-paid-for politicians may or may not be on obamacare, but that’s irrelevant. Even if some are, guess what? They did NOT pay their own way. You paid for them. Yes, many of the millions of middle-income workers who cannot afford obamacare see their personal tax dollars going to the lucrative salaries, pensions and health care for members of congress.

If that’s not enough, these same hard-working, middle-income (by the way, congress, stop calling us “middle class;” that is an insult; do you also use the terms "low class" and "high class" to describe your constituents?) Americans also see their tax dollars going toward Medicaid, Medicare and all the local, state and federal health insurance plans.

After paying all these taxes and many others, the same taxpayers – who cannot afford their own insurance – are then penalized by you, members of congress, because – wait for it – THEY DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY LEFT FOR THEIR OWN INSURANCE!

How can you possibly justify this insult to the integrity of working Americans? (No, I don’t expect an honest answer to that rhetorical question.)

In an August story by Jenny Beth Martin – – we read that “many members of Congress of both parties recognized the more ominous implied threat (from President Trump) – an end to Congress’ illegal gravy train of subsidies to pay for their health care premiums. The president is referring, of course, to the illegal employer subsidies – valued at roughly $6,000 for an individual policy, and $12,000 for a family policy – paid to the approximately 12,000 members and staff who purchase their health care insurance on the District of Columbia small business exchange.

“These subsidy payments are a direct violation of not just the spirit, but the letter of the Affordable Care Act, which required members and their staffs to leave their generous Federal Employee Health Benefit Program plans and instead purchase their health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges," Martin reported. “They receive these subsidy payments only as the result of a conspiracy and a subterfuge – acting at the behest of congressional leaders of both parties and then-President Obama, two unknown congressional officials fraudulently signed paperwork declaring Congress to be a 'small business' that employs fewer than 50 people, so members of Congress and their staffs could purchase their insurance on the D.C. small business exchange (where employers are allowed to provide a subsidy toward the purchase of insurance), rather than an individual exchange (where subsidy payments are not allowed).

“This subterfuge exempts Congress and its staff from being treated under the law the way everyone else in the country who is required to purchase insurance on the Obamacare exchanges is treated.”

Is it any wonder that so many rinos are now known as swampers even within their own party?

Trump has informed congress to move forward on medical coverage or lose this cozy exemption.

“I think the president would be absolutely within his rights to cancel the Obama rule that conferred this subsidy on Congress,” Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said in a recent Fox News report.

Maybe it's time for the republicans to stand up for what many seem to quietly believe: It's time for a single-payer system. A recent Politico survey found 49 percent of Americans – including 33 percent of republicans – now support a single-payer plan. This is only a guess, but I would have to imagine those who are supportive of a single-payer (i.e. socialist) plan are those working Americans who do not have Medicaid, Medicare or any of the lucrative taxpayer-funded government plans, many of which go to six-figure double-dippers in a myriad of government and academic positions.

Maybe it's time the real workers got a break. Maybe it's time for republicans to do something worthwhile before losing their majority in the Potomac swamp.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.

Editor’s note: In the original version of this column, the word “opulent” was used, collectively, as a modifier for the afore-referenced members of congress. Upon objection by 25 percent of said members, the adjective has been removed. Nonetheless, by comparison to the vast majority of citizens’ per-capita income and average household income in a certain rural district, … well, never mind. Merry Christmas, one and all.