Health Care Debacle: Trying to Put a Game Face On

Republicans are calling it “growing pains”, that they control Congress and the presidency and soon the Supreme Court, and still can’t get a major bill like health care repeal and replacement through. Growing pains sounds like a bogus excuse to me — this was rank incompetence across the board.

There’s nothing for progressives to gloat about, because I’m quite sure Trump and the Republicans in Congress will  now try to take down the ACA by a thousand cuts. Trump assumes that then, Democrats will come to him begging for help. I personally don’t think that’s going to work — Republican governors are going to have a lot of constituents suffering if the insurance market destabilizes. This isn’t New York real estate, where you can walk away and it doesn’t matter. Walking away from fixing health care for millions of Americans matters a lot.

The level of  disfunction in Congress is really staggering, and I have no illusions that it would have been better had Hillary won — they’d just have been fighting over different things.

I never thought I see the unravelling of democracy in my lifetime, but that’s what we may be witnessing. If bipartisanship is dead, and if the Freedom Caucus won’t agree to anything unless it gets 100% of what it wants, there really is nowhere to go but down.

15 thoughts on “Health Care Debacle: Trying to Put a Game Face On

  1. I’ve been watching this development as well, with a perpetual shaking of the head. You phrased it correctly when you say the unraveling of democracy. But maybe govt is just finally reflecting some of the dark cultural aspects of America. Compromise has been long dying; some would say dead.

  2. for Katie: For someone who’s spent her entire career working in health care, what you are seeing now must be devastating.

  3. I’m starting to wonder if it was ever here. Compromise requires tolerance and American culture has always been about conquering the outsiders, from the Native Americans to the African slaves and now to immigrants…

  4. From a sociological point of view, women are far more skilled at compromise than are men. America has been ruled by men (mostly white) for all of its history. Last week’s embarrassing hearing on cutting funding for contraception was a sea of white men. It makes me wonder if, indeed, American women have made much progress since 1919.

  5. You make a good point there – A very good point. Maybe patriarchy is a bigger problem than race here. I have definitely hit more stumbling blocks as a woman, than as a Black person, in America.

  6. for Alexis: I think back to Senators Ted Kennedy and Orin Hatch, certainly no political bedfellows, who did enact compromise legislation together. What’s happening now, with fury directed at any member of Congress who tries to work across the aisle, feels different to me and far more set in stone.

  7. for Katie: Trump is surrounded by a sea of white men, by intent.This administration is a real step backward for everyone else.

  8. for Alexis: Interesting observation for you to share, thank you. Do the stumbling blocks you’ve experienced tend to be in your professional world, personal life, or across the board?

  9. It’s across the board. I am originally from Jamaica and if someone had said this to me even in early 2016 I would have laughed, but: women are far more respected in Jamaica than America, and we enjoy much greater personal freedom and independence.

    It’s strange considering this is an island that doesn’t even have laws against sexual harassment, and where abortion is still illegal.

    But this is a sentiment I’ve heard echoed by almost every Jamaican woman I know that has migrated to the United States. The ones I haven’t heard it from, I didn’t ask.

  10. for Alexis: I’m not surprised. There are many cultures where women are treated with far more respect than ours — although we pride ourselves on being an “advanced nation”. Look at our president, and his shameful treatment of women. I’d never have thought we’d elect someone like that to the highest office, and yet here we are.

  11. It doesn’t surprise you? It certainly surprised me. This isn’t the America I visited for 17 years before moving. It’s not the America that was a second home for so long. I was shocked. Or maybe it always has been, and I never noticed because I never had to deal with it until I was a full time resident.

    Maybe Voldemort will end that pedestal us third worlders often place America on. But somehow I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing either…

  12. for Alexis: In the late 1960’s I was a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Panama. A young single white woman living alone was very counter-culture, but I was always treated with great respect and I never feared for my safety from the villagers. To the contrary, this was a time when the Canal Zone was in full swing, and the heavy U.S.military presence greatly distorted life in Panama. Right near the village was a training base, where groups of young soldiers came for six weeks of what they called “jungle training”. On weekend nights they came into the village bars, got drunk, and once word spread that an American girl lived in the village, would burst through my door to see if I wanted to party. I was frightened by their aggression — which I handled by going to see the commanding officer at the base and insisting he do something. He was a decent guy and he did — he put the village off limits. I think American has an aspirational story about who we are, and a much more layered and complex reality, especially in the way women are treated.

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