Saturday, March 25, 2017

Republicans Embarrass Themselves With Health Care Fiasco

                Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. If you’re a Republican, that’s what you do. Must be in their blood. They could not repeal, and do not appeal.
                After repeatedly promising to repeal Obamacare, then taking control of the House, Senate and presidency, the GOP somehow managed to drop the ball yet again, getting outmaneuvered by both Democrats and themselves. The American Health Care Act, or RINOcare, was essentially Obamacare Lite, and would not have repealed certain vital- and odious- aspects of the laughably-dubbed “Affordable Care Act.” It would have left Uncle Sam’s nose firmly and permanently stuck in every aspect of American’s health and behavior.
                That said, one would think that Republicans would have met and hammered out a viable plan, one they knew would pass, long before they were to vote on one. In that case, had the Democrats attempted to kill the bill by filibustering it, they would’ve ended up with a black eye, not the Republicans. This fiasco will of course be used by progressives to hammer Republicans and Conservatives, and will lead to insistent, boisterous claims that they are unable to govern effectively. A claim that, in this case, is understandable. It will also lead to former president Obama gloating insufferably, something at which he is very good. Worst of all, it is yet another instance of Republicans making promises to voters that they don’t keep while in office. That is dangerous to a free Republic.
                In reality, this shows that the diversity of viewpoints is on the Republican side, and that at least some of them actually care more about crafting legislation than the Democrats, who universally will do whatever it takes to keep and retain power, period. Ironically, though, this does make it harder for them to govern effectively.
                As Ronald Reagan remarked, “The closest thing to eternal life on earth is a government program.” The GOP allowed debate over the bill to be framed simply by how many people would gain or lose health care. This implies that everybody should have health care. And, in the seven years since Obamacare was made the law of the land, many now feel that universal healthcare is an entitlement, or even a fundamental right.
                A few lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge seem especially appropriate here:

                He went like one that hath been stunned,
                And is of sense forlorn:
                A sadder and a wiser man,
                He rose the morrow morn.


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