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Opinion: Congresscare

By Ron Andersen

Are we still arguing about federal health insurance? Sorry, I tuned out for a while. It seems the “debate” has moved off of death panels and such, and into the realm of presidential popularity, or lack thereof. Former conservative, David Brooks thinks that the misnamed Obamacare may be the reason for the drop in the president’s poll numbers. He goes on to say, drum roll please, that the president might be too liberal.

Jonathan Chait of The New Republic thinks that’s silly. The bone of contention is this Brooks quote:

“Voters often have only a fuzzy sense of what each individual proposal actually does, but more and more have a growing conviction that if the president is proposing it, it must involve big spending, big government and a fundamental departure from the traditional American approach.”

Mr. Chait’s interpretation:

“…voters are not going to follow the details, and in fact they’re going to be pretty highly misinformed. People make up their minds based on crude heuristics.”

In effect, they’re both right, and I’m a good example of it. I haven’t read the bill(s), nor do I intend to. Having an insurance salesman explain medical coverage is complicated enough. Having a congressman explain it is beyond my level of patience. There are two things I know for sure about it; it was written by congressmen and it is over 1,000 pages long. There’s no doubt in my mind, that should I ever attempt to read it myself, I would find every manner of political favoritism, kick-backs, and under the table dealings that only the US House of Representatives is capable of producing. Mr. Chait, stumbling over the truth, says as much:

“The legislative sausage making process never makes anybody look good.”

Might I suggest less sausage making then? I’m sure it’s possible to help people who need it, while not helping those who don’t. Congress is the last place I would look for such an outcome.

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