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Hooray for Health Care

I am pleased that the Democrats passed health care, although I wish it could have been a better bill. The problem was the Republicans, who were completely uncooperative and blocked every effort at bipartisanship. As a result, the bill expands coverage to many more Americans, but the funding and organization is shaky. The main goal of the Democrats was to expand coverage, and it took so much effort to do that over the opposition of the Republicans that there was nothing left for other issues, like funding.

The Republicans like this result, perhaps the silver lining of their black cloud, because it will give them something to campaign on this fall. While messing up the funding for health care is good for Republicans for campaign purposes, it’s bad for the United States. The Republicans put their partisan interests ahead of the best interests of the country. Whether this tactic will work remains to be seen. There may be a revulsion against the Republicans as simply the party of “No,” which stands for nothing. They claim to stand for responsible finance, but they are responsible for at least part of the irresponsible finance built into health care.
How can they claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility. Their Medicare Part D legislation was not paid for; it was just a gift of federal taxpayer money to the pharmaceutical companies. And the Republican Bush administration never put the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars in the budget; they were always separate, supplemental appropriations.

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