Again, with credit to Messrs. Lennon and McCartney, here are few more odds and ends in yet another “Day in the Life.” In no particular order…
Obamacare - Today is the day when the website is officially more functional, but it has been doing better through the month of November. It better be, as the major selling points of Obamacare are portrayed through the subsidies and additional offerings. Three quick comments, which I have made before:
- Buying healthcare is a personal risk decision: a political group’s opinion on the matter is irrelevant. Without knowing someone’s risk profile, telling someone not to buy insurance is on the unethical side of things. As an example, the risk of an unmarried, young male being in a car accident is greater than any other adult group, so some form of high deductible, catastrophic coverage might be worth considering, but that should be their decision. This is a key reason why I carry both of my adult sons on my policy.
- The Medicaid sign-ups continue to be the hidden success story; the states who declined Medicaid expansion will likely alter their position as it is a win-win for the people in need, the hospitals with high uninsured patients and the states’ economies, so says the RAND Corporation.
- The GOP has overreached on the bad rollout and it will likely come back to haunt them and should. Obamacare is largely a GOP idea and they have made it much harder for it to work and then step back and say “see I told you so” with its bumpy roll out. Since states’ rights is such an important GOP issue, for some states to pass on running a state based exchange (where you have state insurance commissioners whose job is to govern the market), is on the hypocritical side of things. The states who have done so are seeing better results on average, with a good bellweather state being Kentucky, the home of Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, two staunch Obamacare critics.
Temporary Deal with Iran
I am puzzled by the negative reaction to this deal. Multiple countries have a hand in it and it allows more verification and audit of nuclear development than what we have now. When old men beat on their chest and say we should bomb Iran or go to battle, I can assure you they will not be on the firing line. I understand Israel and Saudi Arabia’s points, but this temporary deal is helpful. Sanctions can always be reset, but dialogue is better than none. Haven’t we learned the financial and reputation cost of war?
I don’t know why Republicans don’t like Obama
I voted for the President and he has done some good things for our country and lot of good things have happened on his watch. He also done some things that have greatly disappointed me. Yet, the GOP has been firmly aligned to battle every thing he has done and some would run him over in their car if they got the chance. On the flip side, one of my friends jokingly says he is the best Republican president we have ever had. Some GOPers would cringe at this, but it shows what he has always been, more of a moderate, as he has disappointed folks on the right and left. Here are few things to consider to my friend’s point:
- US domestic oil production has increased significantly in the last five years, where we are much more self-reliant on our own oil. There is nothing more Republican than oil production increases.
- The deficit is on the decline due to spending cuts, lessening our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and tax increases by not extending the Bush tax cuts on the upper end. Republicans don’t like the last step, but they do love the direction of the deficit decline.
- On his watch the stock market has returned in a huge way since elected and many Republicans have done extremely well. The GOP does not like to admit this, but historically, the stock market has done better under Democrat white houses. I would add the president role gets too much credit and too much blame for the stock market results, but it is an interesting data point.
- The economy has gotten better on a monthly basis over the last three years and the number of jobs created on his watch are positive (even when you load in the layoffs shortly after elected due to the financial crisis at the end of Bush’s term). Contrary to GOP hype, the stimulus bill actually worked and could have been even more. Like the above, the president role gets too much credit and too much blame for the economy, but the GOP might be interested in the data point that far more jobs have been created under Democrat white houses than GOP ones since 1921 by a ratio of 2.5 to 1.
- He quietly has invested in community college retraining programs leveraging state dollars with federal dollars matching up with business needs. Why this does not get more notoriety is beyond me? It is almost as if politicians have to sneak around to do things that might go against the party platform. It is like the high number of closet global warming believers in the GOP party leadership. This investment in retraining is precisely the kind of investment we need to be making to promote job creations.
- And, I have already mentioned Obamacare being largely a GOP idea patterned after Romneycare and tracing its roots to a Heritage Foundation idea embraced by GOP Senator Bob Dole when he ran for president against Bill Clinton. The fact that Tea Party leader Jim DeMint supported Romneycare, before Obamacare was passed, advocating for it to President Bush is doubly ironic now that he is head of the Heritage Foundation. After Obamacare was passed and Romney ran for president again in 2012, DeMint said both Romneycare and Obamacare were unconstitutional. But, you said….
On the negative side, while Obama has opened the discussions on climate change action and should be commended for the higher mpg requirements on cars, he has not done near enough to move alternative energy forward. I am also disappointed in the lack of transparency of his administration and the NSA spying issues. And, the use of drones may have saved American and civilian lives without troop intervention, but their merciless, clinical nature and poor governance have harmed the US reputation as we have created more people who hate and distrust us. Finally, doing nothing to address our daily gun violence problem, as well as not getting immigration reform across the finish line or offering more help to those in need are disappointing.
Being an Independent voter, I am afforded the chance to look at the many hypocrisies of both sides. I would like the GOP to return to a more reasonable party to balance against the Democrats. I would like Democrats to better understand the ROI of investments and that, on certain issues, we have to get a better economic handle – such as the high, unsustainable cost of governmental pensions which are contributor to bankruptcy in stagnant cities. We have too many unreasonable positions being bandied about based on anecdotal data, misinformation and disinformation. We need reasonable people to govern based on real data and concern for those impacted and not who wins on an issue.
This is my Day in the Life as of December 1, 2013. Have a great final month of your year. And, please question things and data sources. Ask people why they believe a certain way on an issue. Maybe, just maybe, better discussion can evolve.