Monday, March 10, 2014

Mend It, Or End It?


As an observer who is deeply unhappy with Obamacare, you have a lot of company. The law is deeply and persistently  unpopular with a majority Americans, who dislike it for a variety reasons. Some of those reasons are grounded in practical self interest, some in (understandable) resentment that someone is getting something from the government that they are paying for, some in ideology. Enmity for the law is likely to make itself widely felt at the ballot box this fall, when many observers predict a Republican takeover of the Senate and expanding majority in the House.

Any attempt to fix the ACA (a solution that a majority of the Americans also favor),  seems unlikely. The very idea of government assisted healthcare  was (and is) vociferously opposed by the right. At a time when a great deal could have been done to improve it. the inability to reconcile the House and Senate  versions after Scott Brown's election ensured that the unimproved version would prevail. The overconfidence of Democratic policy makers went unchecked, and the result is unhappiness all round

If Republicans take the Senate we will surely get an endless series of votes for repeal.  The President just as surely will veto any attempt to erase his signature legislation. Any effort  to actually make the thing better will be cynically avoided with the usual preening and posturing. Yet another vital task (improving the nation's dysfunctional healthcare system) will be avoided as we careen towards  2016.

This of course, is the way we like our government.


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