Twitter has been a waste for the past 18 hours or so. Republicans are crying and Democrats are gloating, but to me both sides come out looking bad because politics and government shouldn’t be about one side winning and the other side losing.
It seems to me that politics in the US has become just another sport. It’s us vs. them. One side tries to “push through” its bills and pet projects, just like an NFL team tries to push through at the goal line and score a TD. The other side tries delay tactics, like an NFL team calling time out right before a game-deciding kick or a baseball manager going out to the mound to slow down an opponent’s rally. Both sides use the media to advance their own agendas and spin things for their own good. And the public laps it all up on their cable TV channel of choice, like rabid animals desperate for confirmation that they’re rooting for the Good Guys and the other team is Pure, Unadulterated Evil.
Meanwhile, there’s not a whole lot of leadership and governing going on, is there?
If it were up to me, we’d toss out the president and every member of both houses of Congress. Tomorrow. And we’d start from scratch with people who want to lead a country, not people who want to win an election. We’d limit the amount of time they’re allowed to spend on TV, radio, and talking to the press. We’d limit how much time they can spend trying to get re-elected. We’d require them to vote against their own party at least 25% of the time. We’d force them to focus on being leaders, and do whatever it takes to get them to stop being politicians.
I don’t know if the Health Care Reform bill is Good or Bad, but like everything else that comes from government, I suspect it’s got some of both. I was just reading this article, and I like this part here about the changes that are coming in 2014:
- Insurers will be required to take all applicants. They won’t be able to turn down people in poor health, or charge them more.
- States will set up new insurance supermarkets for small businesses and people buying their own coverage, pooling together to get the kind of purchasing clout government workers have now.
In the two years that I’ve been buying health insurance on my own for the McGee family, our premium has gone up 24.4%. That’s ridiculous. I love the idea of being able to pool together with other individuals to get better rates.
On the other hand, back to the real topic of this post: leadership. I understand that this bill doesn’t cover the president or members of Congress, all of whom will continue to enjoy an apparently much better health plan than the one they just voted for the rest of us to get. What does that say about how great the bill is? More than that, what does it say about how broken our system of government is that the people deciding things like this aren’t affected by their decisions?
No. Reform and change will only happen when we have more leaders in Washington, DC, and fewer politicians.