Category Archives: Politics

Go Big. Then Let the People Choose

By QMC, USN (Ret)

You can choose a ready guide

In some celestial voice

If you choose not to decide,

You still have made a choice

                                       Rush

Well, after years of posturing, and months of work(?), Congress is maybe, perhaps, sort of, thinking about doing something about the so-called Affordable Care Act. Are we all holding our breath in anticipation of the brilliant plan that will be presented to us any second now? I didn’t think so.

The House was actually able to rather quickly pass something that, to the utter shock of absolutely nobody, did almost nothing, and only pleased some bigwigs in the insurance business. Senators from both parties declared the bill DOA. But take heart, as the Senate assured us that they would come up with a “real” solution. Still holding our collective breath? Didn’t think so.

Simple Fact of Life #1: Politicians are first and foremost concerned with maintaining the status quo, which is to say, keeping themselves in power.

Rocking the boat too much threatens the precious status quo. Thinking big rocks the boat. Better for them to think as small as is humanly possible.

Simple Fact of Life #2: Since politics is dominated by money, politicians will almost always put the interests of their contributors ahead of the interests of their constituents.

The worst-kept secret in Washington is that most bills are primarily written, not by legislators, but by lobbyists. What better way to ensure that the money keeps coming in?

So, what we are seeing coming out of Congress is basically a feeble attempt to nibble around the edges of Obamacare, without really fixing the underlying problems. And nobody is happy. The right-wing believes that these “solutions” will only continue the inevitable upward spiral of health-care costs; the left-wing believes they will only limit access to the neediest among us. But the clowns-in-charge seem to think that We the People will accept anything, as long as it’s something.

We the People know better, and we won’t.

Now I, not being a politician, and, more importantly, not being burdened with the ability to think like a normal human being, would like to propose a novel idea:

Go big, and let the people choose.

Of course, we don’t do referendums at the national level in the United States. The country is just too large to operate as an actual democracy. However, if you listen to the news at all, you always hear that every election is supposed to be a referendum on something or other. Particularly mid-term elections. 2006 was a referendum on the Iraq war. 2010 was a referendum on Obama’s policies in general. So how about we make 2018 a referendum on our national health-care policy? Here’s the plan:

First, Repeal Obamacare, effective April 1st, 2019.

Second, instead of endless discussions, deals, and compromises by the old-guard powers-that-be, pick two members of Congress to write bills that are exactly what they would like to see become law. I would recommend Senators Bernie Sanders (Independent {socialist}, Vermont) and Rand Paul (Republican {libertarian}, Kentucky) for this job. The Congressional leadership will agree that on the first day of the session of the next Congress, both of these bills will be presented, as written, to the members for an up or down vote. No endless committee hearings, no back room deals, in short, no BS. Just vote.

It doesn’t take a soothsayer, a psychic, or even anyone with an IQ much above the simian level to know what these bills would look like. Bernie’s bill would be a government run single-payer system that covers everyone in the nation (except, of course, for elites like him, who would have a much better system). Rand’s bill would be a free-market system which would put the onus on the individual to make the choices that are right for them. Those two proposals would be as different as night and day.

In the run-up to the 2018 election, this choice would certainly become THE issue. Every candidate running for a seat in Congress would be compelled to take a stand on which one of these bills he/she would support. Who ends up getting elected will, for the most part, depend on how they stand on this issue.

We will have gone big, and the people will have decided. It’s about as close to a democratic solution as we can get around here. Sure, lots of people will be upset about the outcome, but hey …

(As an aside, another option for Congress would be to pass both bills, and let the President decide which one he wants to sign. But, realistically, it’s a lot more likely that they would vote down both bills, thereby maintaining the time-honored tradition of kicking the can down the road.)

Simple Fact of Life #3: This isn’t gonna happen. Refer to Simple Facts #1 and #2.

But I can dream, can’t I?

P.S. Somebody watch the video at Rush and tell me why is the band is doing laundry on stage?

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