The Senate Health Care Debate is Not About Health Care

Spoiler alert – I am by nature not all that liberal. The main reason is that liberals tend to be overly wedded to industrial era solutions to public policy issues.

On the other hand, at least liberals are wedded to discussing public policy solutions. That cannot be said for Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republicans voting to repeal and replace Obamacare.  It is even less true of dear old President Trump, who seems not to know the difference betwen policy discussion and professional wrestling bluster.

The reason I say that is simple and you do not have to be an expert on pulbic health policy to see it. The Senators are voting before having any discussion about health care policy. And you see reports that they are voting without knowing what it is that they are voting for. Trump cheers them on, saying he will sign ANYTHING put on his desk. This is just not a policy debate. It is something else.

So what is going on? That is also very simple. During the scorched earth Republican opposition to anything Barrack Obama tried to do as president, the Republicans trapped themselves into a position on health care — Obamacare is bad for America. It didn’t matter if this was true. It was politically expedient to take this position. Now that they have control over federal government, they have to act on that prior position, no matter how brain dead it might be.  And that is what they are trying to do. Even as they find out that there are no better or even feasible alternatives to Obamacare, they have to pretend that there are.

If you are still with me, this taks us to a rather important conclusion about the Repubican Party. It is not conservative in any sense of the word. Conservatives debate policy. Nor is it future oriented in any sense.  This debate is not what will be good for Americans. The main Republican Party platform is simply to stay in power by any means possible.

Whatever you think about liberals, that final thought should give you pause.

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