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rant

sabotaging Obamacare

So I was reading a right-wing blog in which people were congratulating themselves over the court rulings saying that Federal subsidies can only be spent on people who buy their insurance through State-run exchanges, and that if the State refuses to run such an exchange and the Feds step in to fill the gap, all the citizens of that State have lost their eligibility for health insurance subsidies.  The glee in their online voices at the thought of making Obamacare unnecessarily painful for millions of people, so they'll learn the lesson never to vote for a Democrat again, is more than a little disturbing.

It's certainly true that that part of the law is poorly worded, under the naive assumption that States offered the opportunity to do things their own way would take that opportunity, and States offered billions of dollars of Federal aid to help their own citizens would accept it.  It's also true that Congress could fix the wording in a matter of days if it wanted the law to work.

For most of U.S. history, there have been two major political parties that disagreed on how to make government work for the benefit of the American people.  But in the past five years, we've had parties that disagree on whether to make government work for the benefit of the American people.  We have a large faction of one party that actively wants any government program (especially one with Obama's name on it) to fail.  Because they've staked their personal political identities on the notion that Government Can Do No Right, they're threatened whenever it tries to do right, they deny the evidence when it seems to be doing right, and they feel compelled to prevent it doing right, no matter how many people suffer the consequences.

Most Americans (including me) think Obamacare is a sub-optimal, overly-complicated plan, but they also think it's an improvement on the status quo ante.  Most Americans (especially the millions who have health insurance now for the first time in many years) want it fixed, not repealed.  They want it to work, which puts their interests at odds with those of many Republican politicians.

Let's be realistic.  Obamacare, for all its flaws, has progressed far enough that it won't be repealed unless it's replaced with something better; even most Republicans acknowledge this now.  Blocking all attempts to fix it doesn't bring us any closer to something better; it's just a temper tantrum thrown by spoiled children who didn't get everything they wanted and want everybody else to suffer for it.

Comments

Thank you - exceptionally well written and absolutely accurate and on point.