Un-governing?

Blog 10-8-2013

Well, the Republicans continue their political ploy of being obstacles to the President. Insisting on continued debate on the Affordable Care Act, derisively known as “Obamacare,” they have Federal Workers, and the nation—indeed, the globe—hostage to their tactics as 800,000 Federal Employees and their correlative services are placed on hold.

Whether one likes government or not, the main purpose of government is service. To impede services is simply bad governing.

Ironically, their tactic doesn’t change the fact that October 1st was the official launch of the Affordable Care Act.

It’s a celebration for some, lamentation for others. Even those who are thankful for affordable healthcare do so in an environment that makes it taboo for it to be a public option beyond the ceilings posed by Medicare and Medicaid. 

How odd, isn’t it? The enemies of the public option health care are for the most part the same people who do not object to using public funds to kill people, whether through the death penalty, drone attacks, or simply waging war on countries saturated with oil.

Government services are manifold. They involve functional highways. Clean streets. Drinkable water. Rules to assure, for the most part, that what we eat doesn’t kill us. At least not immediately. They involve making education, the quality of which is sometimes good, always accessible. They involve protection from a variety of evils, ranging from physical assault to discrimination. And once upon a time, they even involved reliable mail. I say “once upon a time” because of the war the Republican Party has waged against the national post office, forcing them not only to privatize but also to pay in advance for services before they have raised revenue.

The situation is crazy. One would think it would be the end of the world if working and middle class (a vague term these days, no?) had access to public health care, with rich people having the continued option of private services.  Why not a public presumption and a private option?

The derisive term “Obamacare” obfuscates the main point of affordable care with its logic of private options that are affordable.

Well, the medical insurance companies and pharmaceuticals have been fairly silent. For the majority of people in the U.S., they are the only options in town, so the absence of an expanded public one means, as continues to be the case in U.S. politics, those who have will continue to get more.

© Lewis R. Gordon