Health Care: Is Expecting Reason Unreasonable?
I couldn’t tell if it was an admonition or a threat when Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s told his GOP cohorts that if they didn’t pass some version of the health care bill, they would……OMG!…..have to work with the Democrats to reach a solution.
For some perspective, let’s not lose sight of the fact that eight years ago, Democrats passed what became known as “Obamacare” without a single Republican vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the charge then with her “we have the votes, thus the power, we don’t need them” approach.
Is it too much to ask that reasonable men and women from each party actually get together and create a plan that might address our nation’s health care needs?
To do so, the yapping from both the far right and far left will need to fall on the deaf ears of those trying to actually work something out. It’s hard to forget seven years of GOP rhetoric claiming that the repeal Obamacare could solve all of the nation’s problems, particularly when it came from the same group which has devoted zero time to devising a plan that is superior, or that might actually pass.
The many Democrat members who wouldn’t defend the Affordable Care Act nor make any notable attempt to correct its flaws are not without blame.
Even the current president has continued to reiterate that Obamacare will be repealed and replaced with “something better, much much better.” Now he’s saying, “hey, I need another checkmark….let’s repeal now and replace later.”
There is evidence, however, that the process can actually work in Washington, D.C. To wit, the efforts of Tennessee’s own Senator Lamar Alexander: his committee crafted a bilateral rewrite and simplified direction for our nation’s education system, and then did the same for an overhaul and greater investment in medical research by the National Institute of Health.
Frankly, I was hopeful when the battle shifted to the Senate, that Sen. Alexander could lead and formulate a reasonable and effective piece of legislation. Alas, I’m not sure what happened when Leader McConnell decided to bypass the committee system and set up a committee of 13 white men to carve out a cure. Yes, I am aware that Sen.
Alexander was one of that number, but one of 13 is just that….not the chair of a committee which is supposed to be addressing this crucial issue.
It’s way above my pay grade to offer any specific or technical solutions. But, I do not think it is above the pay grade of what I hope is an actual majority of Americans who want things to actually work within the Beltway. Maybe, just maybe, if each member of Congress could change the conversation from WBFMP (What’s best for my party) to WBFOC (What’s best for our country), we could actually replace the zeal to repeal with a road to reason.
I realize that is a quixotic aspiration, though maybe not for a coalition of reasonable individuals stitched together in an effort to actually solve something. Surely, it’s worth a try.