Monday, December 09, 2013

What bothers me most about Obamacare...

...is the delight that so many have taken in subverting it, and the schadenfreude displayed daily by folks who so clearly enjoy watching the poor thing writhe in pain during its difficult breech birth.

The site glitch was terrible, inexcusable, an appalling waste of taxpayer money (and maybe more important in the long run, a waste of precious political capital). I agree with right-wing critics and others who insist that heads should roll, and that Obama, as CEO, should be held accountable in some fashion. This was supposed to be the man's legacy to the nation, the one program that would encapsulate/epitomize his presidency. (It may still be that, of course, but perhaps in an ironic sense that is very far from what Obama once supposed.) How could he have let it happen? Of all initiatives on which to fall asleep at the switch, this?

But if America-at-large had just tried to work with it:

...if companies large and small didn't look for ways to circumvent the law's provisions by dropping health coverage, laying off workers and/or cutting back hours and plan contributions;

...if insurers had engaged HHS officials in a sincere dialog keyed to figuring out how to most smoothly integrate the law's provisions into their menu of offeringsinstead of practicing CYA or embracing an almost-spiteful policy of simply canceling all those non-conforming policies (take that, Barack Hussein Obama!);

...if all states bought into the insurance marketplace and accepted the (federally subsidized) Medicare expansion without protest and nonstop partisan bluster...

...how might things feel so much better already?

The labor pains accompanying the debut of other major social policies were as bad as those that have marred the Affordable Care Act to date. Social Security and Medicare had many kinks to be worked out, yet are now, of course, acknowledged (by almost all) as essential fibers in the American safety net. Read here, here and here, among many other citations.

If America should offer anything at all to its citizensrich, poor and everywhere in-betweenit should offer health coverage. No, Messrs. Beck, Levin and Hannity, that isn't mentioned anywhere in your beloved Constitution, but it damned well ought to be, certainly ahead of the right to own a gun. And if access to health care is not a basic human entitlement, integral to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, then you tell me what is.

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