Today’s must read article comes to use via Joshua Holland and Moyers & Company.
This summer’s heated battles over the implementation of “Obamacare” are a microcosm of a much larger and longstanding ideological clash over the role of the government in society.
The hard-right is taking a scorched-earth approach, obstructing the law’s implementation by any means necessary and spinning the hiccups and glitches that are inevitable with any complex new system as an unmitigated disaster.
It’s a perfect example of a structural advantage enjoyed by politicians who rail against “big government”: they claim that government is, by definition, hopelessly inept and can’t do anything to improve people’s lives, and when they get into power they have the opportunity to obstruct, cause havoc and ultimately prove the claim.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration, officials in around half of the states and a network of the program’s supporters are desperate to get the new health insurance scheme up and running. It’s shaping up as a particularly ugly fight in an era that’s come to be defined by “crisis governance.”
What does no-hold-barred warfare against a law that’s been settled for three years look like? Some tea party activists are urging Republican lawmakers to shut down the government — or even default on the debt Congress itself ran up — in a quixotic effort to “defund” Obamacare. In refusing to expand Medicaid, legislators in 21 states, most of them “red,” are not only denying their poorest citizens coverage, but also turning away billions of dollars from the federal government. Some members of Congress are refusing to help their own constituents navigate the new exchanges to get the benefits available to them. According to the Washington Post, some state legislators are getting quite creative, “refusing to enforce consumer protections, for example, and restricting federally funded workers hired to help people enroll in coverage.” In Missouri, “officials have been barred from doing anything to help put the law into place.”
That’s just the beginning. Click on the article’s title to read the whole thing.
In this writer’s opinion, the real reason the Republicans are so opposed to Obamacare is that they know that if it is successful it will only further lead to their own obscurity. Once people realize how much the new health care law benefits them and their families, they are likely to never vote for another Republican as long as they live. It will be several generations before the Republicans and their rich benefactors again enjoy the power they so crave.