Apparently, if the temperature in Central Texas drops below 40 for any length of time, my Internet, cable TV, and phone networks all collapse. Dutifully noted. And, since this happened on a weekend, it took until just now for a tech to make it out here and get full service restored. So I haven’t had much of a chance to thank all of you who have pitched in this holiday season, as well as those who are helping with my computer-building project. Both are going well. I’ll probably have the parts I need for the PC, and plenty enough in contribs to keep my bills at bay, by this weekend.
Below is an interesting piece on the ACA and I’ll say right here what strikes me thinking about it today: conservatives missed the boat on this. They didn’t even make it to the dock.
Real Clear Politics — I want to talk today about a controversial word. It’s a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it’s indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man. To render him inferior and unequal and to diminish his accomplishments.
President Obama has been labelled with this word by his opponents. And at first he rose above it, hoping that if he could just make a cause for what he achieved, his opponents would fail in making their label stick. But no matter how many successes that he had as president, he realized there were still many people for whom he’d never be anything more than that one disparaging word. A belief he knew was held not just by his political opponents, but also by a significant portion of the American electorate.
And so he decided, if you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them. And he embraced the word and made it his own, sending his opposition a message they weren’t expecting — ‘if that’s what you want me to be, I’ll be that.’ Y’all know the word that I’m talking about. Obamacare.
It didn’t have to be this way. Conservatives could have owned healthcare.
I’m a single payer proponent, Medicare for all basically. But the ACA/Obamacare does take care of a lot of problems, preexisting conditions, affordable for patient and government, caps on out of pocket expenses, covering preventative care and birth control. It gets millions covered, seen and treated, and on the road to wellness, many of whom would never have had that care without the ACA. That idea for a regulated private company exchange, where healthcare insurance companies would compete for consumers, with the subsidy for lower earning people, may well be the most innovative, workable solution to a Big Social Problem ever developed by conservatives in the post war era.
It was developed in its modern form by conservative think-tanks beginning around 1990, notably the Heritage Foundation. It served as a partial blue-print for Medicare Part D enacted by George W Bush a decade ago. It was implemented virtually as written sitting on the shelf to cover everyone in Massachusetts under then governor Mitt Romney — who is on record saying it should be a blue-print for the entire nation. Conservatives thru and thru, they could have owned this, and they really need to be able to point at something they can successfully pull off, outside of winning occasional elections by fanning mass hysteria.
Calling the ACA template the most innovative and workable idea conservatives have had is not a high bar to clear when considering other proposals they make. A border fence, an amendment against same sex marriage, forcing a raped teen to carry an unwanted fetus to term, deregulating every sector including the financial products and investment industries, corporate personhood, and on and on, crazy ideas, unworkable ideas, dangerous ideas, and in some cases deeply offensive, discredited drivel that they proudly push 24/7.
Contrasted against that kind of traditional wingnuttery, the ACA looks like a piece of skillfully crafted social ingenuity. Instead, just because it was adopted by democrats, they had to turn against their own idea in droves. Now they’re cornered, people are signing up and finding out there are no death panels and the coverage/prices are kick-ass, with nowhere to go offering an alternative, as there is literally nothing significant to the right of the ACA that will do what it already does.