Nothing brings out America’s political schizophrenia like Medicare. The program is universally popular with consumers, and universally seen as a necessity by providers. Despite these facts, the reality is that Medicare is Socialism. The program ranks behind only Social Security and public education (by percentage of GDP) in the United States welfare state (with police, firefighting, and Medicaid ranking behind it). In 2009, literally millions of independent and conservative voters were convinced to fight health care reform on the grounds that it damaged Medicare, the United States’ preeminent example of Socialism. Confusion reigns supreme!
Filed under the heading of useless government action; the Republican House (and three Democrats) voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In truth, the voted for the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”, a magnificent example of snake-oil salesmanship. The action has no real political meaning; the Senate will never see the legislation because Republicans don’t have the votes to either open the debate or invoke cloture to force a vote. If the Senate were to pass a complement, President Obama would veto the action, and there aren’t enough votes in the House to override his veto.
Politically, 2010 will stand as one of the most confusing years in the history of our nation. The hallmark of this year is the level to which political message has risen above real political action and governance. This is the year where the transformation of political parties has come to fruition. Once instruments that supported and nurtured a set of principles, Democrats and Republicans have outgrown their simple and honest purpose. Principles are defined and crafted to suit the ambitions of the parties.
It is the singular measure of the extremes our nation is swinging between that our political debate so often involves the Constitution. A brilliant document and the creation of great compromise, our Constitution serves as the foundation and framing of the nation. The cement was poured and set over 200 years ago, and the framing has been added, in the form of amendments, at various intervals since.In our great arrogance today, we have decided that every problem requires a Constitutional remedy.