Is Tribalism Driving the Health-Care Debate Today?… According To Goldberg It Is

An interesting take on the present health care debate by conservative editor /columnist  Jonah Goldberg.

The winner take all mentality is leaving the important responsibility of governing in the best interest of the people stranded at sea. Apparently without a compass or a rudder.

NATIONAL REVIEW I’m just thinking out loud here. But it seems to me this is one of those moments in American politics where no one can simply say what they really think or want. As Yuval noted yesterday, big chunks of the GOP-controlled Congress just don’t want to deal with health care or repeal Obamacare. As both the House and Senate legislation demonstrate, they’d rather tinker with it than tear it down. But they can’t say that. So, they’re claiming this is a repeal of Obamacare. It’s not. But it is a repeal of the Medicaid expansion that was glued onto Obamacare.

This is odd in many ways. Donald Trump vowed not to touch Medicaid. He also doesn’t seem to like either bill on the merits, but he desperately wants a big legislative win and the ability to say he repealed Obamacare. So, in policy terms, the voters who believed Trump when he said he wouldn’t touch Medicaid are getting screwed, but it seems many of them — or their anointed representatives in right-wing media — don’t care, because they too want Trump to have a big political win more than a much more difficult policy win (and for the Democrats to have a big political loss).

Meanwhile, the Democrats know that Obamacare has been a huge albatross for their party and understand that the best thing that could happen for them is if the Republicans agreed to keep Obamacare in name (i.e., abandon the rhetoric of “repeal”) but do whatever is necessary to make the thing work. But the GOP is doing the opposite. It’s largely keeping Obamacare in terms of policy (at least the really popular parts) but rhetorically its claiming to destroy Obamacare utterly. So, both the Democrats and the Republicans end up claiming this is a repeal of Obamacare when it’s not. It’s all a war for the best spin, not the best policy.

In different times, a Republican president might have come in and, like Eisenhower did with the New Deal, say, “We’re not going to throw away all that stuff, but we are going to fix it and shave the rough edges off.” A mend-it-don’t-end-it rhetorical approach to Obamacare would win over enough Democrats and moderate Republicans to pass a serious health-care bill that gave Obama credit while reworking the whole thing.

Find the whole story HERE


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Les Carpenter

Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Corrective Exercise Specialist working with those over 50 years of age. Currently work at Prime Fitness located in The Enfield Senior Center, Enfield CT. Semi retired and enjoying life in the semi fast lane with my lovely bride and super grandchildren!

2 thoughts on “Is Tribalism Driving the Health-Care Debate Today?… According To Goldberg It Is”

  1. It’s too bad that to republican leaders “fixing it” means cutting it sufficiently in order to give a big tax break to their biggest donors. They are even willing to significantly hurt their population base the most to accomplish it.

    So much for government of the people, for the people, and by the people.


    1. I see you read between the lines too. But I do think Goldberg recognizes that the best conservatives can hope to accomplish is to slow the movement towards a more socialistic society. Ultimately I think he knows conservatives can’t stop it.

      The real purpose of conservatives should be to apply brakes gently and work to improve the system to better accomplish what the people actually 1) need and 2) then what they would like.

      Screw the corporatists and billionaire a-holes.


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