Monday, April 3, 2017

Half of a Government

The Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or otherwise known as Obamacare) imploded on the launch pad when the ultra right wing hardline conservative faction of the House of Representatives known as the Freedom Caucus refused to sign on as the new bill (The American Health Care Act or AHCA or TrumpDon’tCare). It seems the AHCA was not hardline enough for this caucus. So instead of repealing Obamacare a little, they elected to not repeal it at all. The Freedom Caucus would accept nothing less than the complete obliteration of the ACA.  It was not enough to wound the ACA; the Freedom Caucus wanted it dead. So TrumpDon’tCare sputters and dies while Obamacare lives another day. 


The AHCA was a bad bill. It had zero support from… well, everyone. Nobody liked this bill: voters, doctors, nurses, economists... people were lining up around the block to hate on this bill. 

Donald Trump actually complained about getting no support from the Democrats even though no outreach efforts were made towards the Dems and there was zero incentive for any Democrat to vote for legislation with the primary purpose of repudiating the Democrats' signature legislative achievement.

Because the Republicans were trying to push this through with zero support from the Democrats, the Freedom Caucus gained an inflated and undue level of influence. 

This is what you get when you're working with half of a government.  And don't look for that to change anytime soon.  House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he doesn’t want to work with Democrats on health care legislation. 

"I don’t want that to happen. You know why? I want a patient-centered system. I don’t want government running health care. The government shouldn’t tell you what you must do with your life, with your health care. We should give people choices.”

Let's assume Ryan's simplistic characterization of the Democrats has some basis in fact and is not a misguided conflation of liberalism and communism. The Democrats are there, voted in by constituents who presumably support the Democrats' point of view. What Ryan is saying is those constituents do not have a voice in his government. The only ones who get a voice are those who reflect the majority party.

Which I'm pretty sure was not the intent of our nation's founding fathers.  This does not reflect a healthy functioning democracy.

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