July 27, 2009

Health Care Reform, Blue Dogs, and Paul Krugman

DaddyTips Feature

DaddyTips Rant

It doesn’t look like the House will vote on a health-care bill before their “recess” on Friday. For some reason I think “recess” is an appropriate term for such a childish group of individuals.

Oh no he didn’t! He did not just call members of our government childish!

Ah, but I did. Why? Because one of the main stumbling blocks appears to be the self-described “Blue Dog Democrats.” I fully respect the idea that people will disagree with the President’s plans, even if they are members of the same party. But why do they have to give themselves a name? Do they wear special jackets? Perhaps with little blue doggie patches on them? Anyway, Paul Krugman says that the Blue Dogs “aren’t making any sense” because they want to keep the costs of the proposed health care plan down, but at the same time don’t want to force small business owners to contribute to it. (I’m simplifying a lot. Sorry. I don’t have a NOBEL PRIZE.) Personally, I think Krugman is an extremely bright guy but is wrong about this particular point. It is possible to think one thing that appears to be in opposition to something else. It happens all the time. To me, the real problem is watching potentially life changing legislation get hung up by a bunch of guys who feel the need to call themselves something as stupid as the Blue Dogs.

Is the President’s plan perfect? I have no idea, but I doubt it. Will the Obama Presidency collapse if health care reform isn’t passed by Friday, as Krugman suggests? Nah. In fact, the President himself said “by the end of the year” in his press conference last week. Nobody seemed to notice. So this “before you get to go to recess” deadline is mostly designed to give the House and Senate a kick in the ass.

And you know what? It worked. Republicans are talking seriously about health-care reform. You know the last time that happened? Nixon. (Again, I may be wrong about that. But I don’t think I am.) Not that I want to let anyone off the hook, but you know something? That’s a victory for President Obama. A very real one. Can you tell me the last time we saw a debate about the issue at hand — health care — getting more attention than the politics surrounding the issue? Obviously politics are still very much a part of the storyline. But John McCain just helped the President kill off a plan to build more F-22 fighter planes. John McFuckingCain! The guy who ran against Obama for President! How is that not seen as a major political victory?

I hope they pass a health care plan. I really do. And I hope it’s not done to meet an artificial deadline. But I don’t think it is. If the House leaves without a vote, they’re the ones who will look like they haven’t done their jobs. The President is doing his. It’s time somebody started to notice.

Be Sociable, Share!