Before I talk about Obamacare and irrational Republicans, I have to remind everyone that we need to fight back against the false narrative that says both sides are the same. Right now in Washington, Republicans are not about governing. They aren’t about solutions. They aren’t about helping people, especially minorities of any group. Both sides might cater to their special interests and both sides might feed at the trough of big business, but both sides DO NOT have the same philosophy when it comes to governing and looking out for the disenfranchised.
Republicans, or more specifically conservatives, have to believe everyone is capable of pulling themselves up by those boot straps. If they lose that belief, they lose their ideology, and ultimately they lose their way. So they will vehemently defend the notion that everyone can make it in America if they just work hard and play by the rules. And as a brief aside, that President Obama has uttered those exact words, offers great proof that he wants to work with Republicans.
Liberals, and many Democrats, believe nobody should expect a free hand out, but society must offer help to the poor and the hungry when needed. Everyone should pull their weight, but there will never be a good paying job for every American. There will always be poverty-level wages, although we can fight back against that by advocating an increase in minimum wage, and tying it to inflation. But The sooner we recognize that there will always be low-level jobs with low-level wages, and stop believing a fairy tale that everyone can just start their own business if they can’t find a good job, the sooner we can stop making moral judgements on the character of a person who needs government assistance. We can stop assuming people have sinister motivations for believing government should help people when needed. We can stop assuming the worst in people. We can stop victim blaming. We can stop demonizing people we don’t know, and condemning them from afar.
So no, both sides are not the same. One side believes in government by the people as a source of good for society, and the other side shows us how you can use government to regulate, demean, bad-mouth, judge, and disparage people, while at the same time professing a belief in small government. But they believe in a very specific kind of small government. A small government that works and profits for them, but not so much for you. In fact, their idea of small government is very much large government for everyone else. It means regulating your body or even your thoughts and speech. But there’s no large government when you need help. You’re on your own. Pull up on those bootstraps.
That brings me to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the irrational behavior by Republicans to repeal the health care law.
Never mind that the bill passed congress and is law. And there are no rules stating a bill needs votes from both political parties. Just ask Republicans when they controlled both houses during much of George W. Bush’s time in office.
Never mind that the law was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Never mind that Americans still voted to re-elected President Obama, an affirmation of his signature legislative achievement.
Never mind all of that, because Republicans know what’s good for America, and that’s an irrational political party, just insane enough to vote to repeal Obamacare 40 times. And now that they’ve tried and failed 40 times to do the same thing, some of the more lucid members of the party are talking with their constituents, trying to explain why a government shut down (to force repeal of Obamacare — which still wouldn’t happen anyway) would be a stupid idea. And how do these constituents respond? They say “stick to your conservative principles.” They say, “we need to show Americans what we are made of.” Pay no attention to the idea of what’s practical, we simply need to make a statement, no matter how deficient of knowledge and facts that statement is.
And one of those deficiencies is a thorough lack of understanding of what Obamacare is. The Affordable Care Act is exactly what conservatives should want. It’s the free market health care solution, which means it’s hardly the best solution, but that’s beside the point. The Affordable Care Act has “personal responsibility” baked right in, something conservatives should applaud. So why are they so against Obamacare? That’s a conundrum even the most skilled political and social experts will remain unable to answer for years, for decades, or for all time.
A liberal universal health care idea would be a single-payer system like Medicare. And some liberals would go even further and say we need true socialized medicine like the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). And conservatives are free to believe either idea is radical, but what they are not free to believe, if they are to be taken seriously, is that Obamacare is radical, at least viewed from a free market capitalism perspective. Obamacare is not ultimately where we need to be, because profit needs to be removed from (at least) the insurance/payer side of the equation. But Obamacare is most definitely not radical from the perspective of health care and individual choice, contrary to the inflamed rhetoric from the Right. That doesn’t mean Obamacare is not without flaws, but it’s not socialized medicine. It’s not a plot to take over health care. And it won’t kill grandma.
And that’s what makes Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare, 40 times and counting, so irrational, unless you understand this simple fact. — If Obamacare starts working, and it already has in many areas, people likely won’t forget which political party was against it.