Does it mean we shouldn't try?
In 2008, President Obama, who had as a part of his campaign promised to try and get Health Care reform, began to push for exactly what he promised.
Perhaps more than any other issue, the Affordable Care Act has created the division. When it was passed in 2009 by Democrats, no Republicans in either the House or the Senate voted for its passage. One Republican did not vote in the Senate as he was absent. It should be noted that even though Republicans had been involved in the crafting of the Senate bill, they voted against what they had helped to build. The passage gave rise to the Tea Party. The ACA was passed without bipartisan support, but not without input. The Bush Medicare Part D was passed in much the same way except 16 Democrats did vote for the law.
Riding a wave of resentment by many red and purple states and in an off year election, the Senate lost its super majority and Republicans took control of the House. The loss was actually not just due to the ACA, but it contributed. It was at this point that the Republicans became known as the "Party of No." The battle over the health care culminated with a shutdown of the government and a threat to not raise the debt ceiling. The majority of Republican Senators remained for the most part seeming more centrist Republicans. There are a few that cater to the far right. The House took over 40 votes to repeal the law. These were votes that they knew could not be any more than a political statement. Their concerns about the cost, it turned out, was somewhat justified, but they spent so much time in opposing everything, the problems became more and more convoluted.
Here is the problem with both parties playing politics with the law. It is a law not a policy or a bill which frequently appears in talking points. It is a law. Never in the history of the US has any Congress done so little. It is the price of playing politics without governing. What needs to happen is what should have happened is once the ACA was passed into law, the Republicans should have immediately began to work on making it work for them. Opposition without a plan is not governing. If one team stands at the goal line and refuses to play, they forfeit. They don't get to complain about how the other team is playing. It is time, dear congress, to share the sandbox and play together.
24 billion dollars. The outrage that started out was about a website that cost $70-$93 million dollars to build, not $500 million as has been reported on the right or the under $50 million as reported on the left. So the question became who is responsible for this disaster? Personally, if I contract someone to do work, I think they should do it. If they fail, they don't get paid. Unfortunately, government contracts don't work that way. Perhaps, they should. The fact remains the site was not ready.
Then came the loss of insurance by what will most likely turn out to be around seven million people. The Republicans actually have a bill in the House which would prevent the loss of the insurance. There is hope...or maybe not.
So far the playing of politics has outweighed governing and reporting. Sad but true. So what does the law do? Surprisingly, little is covered in reporting and the White House has not been successful at getting this information wide spread. The opposition party has also done a lot to prevent the public from getting an acurate picture. So in my last post, I want to try and list what the law is supposed to cover.