While what is going on in congress right now might be shameful, I’m thinking a lot about politics is shameful, so what else is new?
And make no mistake about it, the tussle over passing a continuing resolution to fund the government in lieu of a budget is pure politics and has nothing whatsoever to do with the merits of Obamacare or the desires of the public in general.
I’m thinking right now, forget about it. Just let it happen and go from there.
I don’t think the same thing about the next fight which will be over whether to raise the debt ceiling. I mean if failing to raise the debt ceiling means that the full faith and credit of the United States of America for the first time in history means nothing, well that would seem disastrous and irresponsible. If that were to happen then I would think recall or voting them all out at the polls or whatever can be done would be in order.
Politics, although associated with, is not the same thing as governance, although you can’t have one without the other. Politics is a necessary evil. Right now we seem to have a congress that is incapable of governance. As for the executive, I’m not sure that is true. Certainly his refusal to submit to the demand of a minority — albeit a loud one (as Hillary said the other day) — that he drop his signature piece of legislation that is now law, the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare), is not a sign of his lack of governance.
And let’s don’t forget he has Iran talking diplomatically to us for the first time in 30-plus years (yes it’s just talk as of now).
Plus, the mere fact that he pushed through a form of universal health care, something that was first suggested by a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, back the early part of last century, is certainly a sign of an ability at governance.
And of course the big irony that seems to always fall on deaf ears is that the president’s Republican opponent for his job last time around engineered the blue print for Obamacare in Massachusetts where he was governor (I’m talking good old I can’t believe I lost Mitt Romney).
Actually I was reminded this morning in a report on NPR that really only (well, should I say only?) 15 percent of the population lacks health care coverage.
But really the major problem is the ever-escalating cost. It is hoped that Obamacare can eventually bring down that cost by getting everyone into the insurance pool one way or the other. Basically or in general, the rule is that if you can afford to pay a share you will. Also the new law seems to be designed to introduce more competition into the health insurance market. As I have asked before — aren’t Republicans for competition in the free market?
I know that some are concerned that really Obamacare will turn into an eventual full government takeover in the health care business. I’m not sure that such is the case at all. I do know that many on the far left (and others too) would prefer a government takeover — that is a single-payer plan paid for by the government or read that taxpayers. But that is not what Obamacare is.
Whether all these new health care exchanges will work, I have not the foggiest notion. Maybe some think that they won’t and then the government will step in and take charge of it all. I don’t know what the thinking is.
But a big problem I understand is that young people, many of whom could afford or will be able to afford some kind of coverage, fail to purchase it, and might still under Obamacare. That means the pools are or will not be big enough and insurance costs go up because the smaller the pool the higher the risk for the insurance company.
But people who fail to protect themselves still demand care and our laws for the most part require it. We pay for them.
Now I do have issue with the claim when Obamacare was touted that if you have coverage you like you can keep it. That is true as long as it is still available. But with the new reality that Obamacare creates, there may be some question as to whether it will be. This remains to be seen.
Well I did not start out to talk about Obamacare specifically. I was just commenting on the politics of the threatened government shut down.
Obamacare is law. If there are problems with it then they can be worked out. The other side lost one and now it wants to have a second chance via its blackmail technique, that is to shut down the government and scare and make things inconvenient for the public and business and hope that the president who is of the opposing party and the legislators and others of the opposing party get blamed somehow.
If the shut down is short, probably few will notice. If it is prolonged, then as the pain is felt, there likely will be pressure from the constituents. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Politics is a game, albeit a deadly serious one at times.
If this gambit works for the Republicans, will this be the new politics and will the Democrats pull the same stunt?
That would not be governance.