With Congressional elections looming this November, the political posturing continues. One of the primary strategies of the right? Capitalize on people’s frustration over health reform’s passage. Fresh from Minority Leader Boehner’s office comes the report “ObamaCare: Three Months of Broken Promises.” The report attempts to lay out various claims made by Obama, Democratic members of Congress, and others that have not come to pass–in three months. Where, oh where, to begin?
First of all, how about the fact that having not yet fulfilled a promise is not the equivalent of breaking a promise? Sure, at some point the two become pretty synonymous, but let’s get realistic here–it takes time to implement new laws, which brings me to my second point. Three months?!?! Does anyone–from American citizens to members of Congress–truly believe that a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system could be achieved in three months? If so, I’d suggest that those persons lack an appreciation for the complexities involved in steering the Titanic around the iceberg. Health care represents roughly one-fifth of the entire national economy. It can’t be stopped on a dime or fixed overnight. This process is going to take a considerable amount of time. In fact, as Exhibit A, I’d point to the Medicare Part D program proudly passed by a Republican Congress during the Bush Administration, which is still having its kinks ironed out several years later.
And, finally, how handy for the GOP to take the strategy of “what have you done for me lately?” when they haven’t managed to do much of anything to improve our health care system during their time in power. If they want to write up and disseminate a report like “ObamaCare: Three Months of Broken Promises” then they had better hope that no one writes its counterpart: “RepubliCare: Three Decades of Broken Promises.” Believe me, there’s plenty of fodder to include in that report–and if you want to level criticisms after three months, that’s fine, just be prepared to explain how it’s taken you forty times as long to accomplish far less.