Friday, March 24, 2017

A failure to govern

I wonder if President Obama is chuckling now …

Since it was signed into law in 2010 Republicans have been determined to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The complaints were legion — that it didn’t cover everyone, its costs were too high and — falsely — it would lead to a government takeover of the health care system.

But in its haste to repeal it with the election of Donald Trump as president, the GOP didn’t count on a few things.

One, it actually did help a lot of people, ironically many of whom live in rural areas and voted for Donald Trump for president last year but who want to keep it. (They were told that they really wanted to repeal “Obamacare,” not realizing until it was too late that they were the same.)  Two, the “American Health Care Act,” coming from the Trump White House, jettisoned several key planks in the ACA, including the mandate for coverage, as well as not being anywhere near as comprehensive and thus rendering it virtually ineffective. Three, the GOP’s “Freedom Caucus” has never wanted any bill at all no matter which side proposes it and are opposing the AHCA on what they call principle.

What we have, and have had for decades, is a failure to govern properly on the part of the Republican Party. It has told people for years “This is what is good for you” rather than listen to people with open ears, its “donor class” often drowning out those voices. That has led to the present stalemate in Washington.

You see, this is what hate does — folks were so determined to rid themselves of the legacy of a man they despised that they didn’t think long-term about what they were doing and whom they were doing it for, and now it’s coming back to haunt them.

I said seven years ago that GOP leadership was green with envy when it came to the ACA, and that resentment is coming full-flower now. Some differences simply cannot be split to benefit everyone; at times hard choices need to be made for the good of all even though some might complain, because when you try to please everybody you usually end up pleasing nobody. Obama understood that in pushing through the ACA, but apparently his critics didn’t. And still don’t.

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