Rushville Republican

Columns

November 1, 2013

Festering partisanship and the sins of Obamacare

INDIANAPOLIS — As Obamacare careens into its second month of implementation, the one conclusion I am coming to is that we may have lost the ability to govern ourselves. My faith in government is eroding like a sand castle on a Lake Michigan dune.

In surveying the eroded leadership, partisan grandstanding, polarization and policy sclerosis, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats told me last week that he is concerned by this loss of faith. Pew Research found only 19 percent trust the federal government, near an all-time low. “That’s a dangerous thing for democracy when you lose the opinion of people and institutions who sent you,” Coats observed. “That is a very dangerous thing.”

In the decade leading up to the Affordable Care Act, I was personally confronted with my station on the “death spiral,” an insurance industry connotation for someone with a pre-existing condition they did not want to serve. We watched as businesses and local governments - large and small - grappled with escalating health costs.

As a journalist, I’ve covered four separate chapters in health care reform. The first was Doc Bowen’s 1988 catastrophic health plan which President Reagan signed into law, and then as public opinion collapsed, Congress repealed. Five years later came First Lady Hillary Clinton’s complicated initiative that couldn’t muster support in Congress. It is fascinating that in its opposition to HillaryCare, the conservative Heritage Foundation created another option, and after gathering dust on the shelf for almost a decade, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney implemented what we now call “RomneyCare,” generally deemed a success. That became template for Obamacare, which Heritage opposes with historic vitriol.

Between the collapse of HillaryCare and the election of Barack Obama in 2008, little happened nationally to contain the escalating medical costs, or the inclusion of tens of millions of hard working Americans - be they business owners or individuals - who could not access the system. In this time span - for six years between 2001 and 2007 - Republicans controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress. All that was accomplished in this era was the greatest entitlement expansion since the Great Society - Medicare Prescription Plan D - essentially a component of President Bush43’s reelection campaign. After a fiasco rollout, it has since been deemed a success.

Text Only
Columns
  • Young people should be involved in sports People who know me are probably aware that my favorite sport is football. As it turns out, I’m not alone, at least in terms of the number of high school kids who take part in the sport. During the 2012-13 school year, a total of 1,088,158 high school

    August 19, 2014

  • A Washing-ton of baseball trivia On our recent, although not really so recent anymore, I guess, since I’ve been writing about it for weeks on end, summer vacation, all the guys in our group -- me, brothers-in-law, nephews, sons, father-in-law -- went to a Washington Nationals vs. Co

    August 19, 2014

  • Habitual behavior Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

    August 19, 2014

  • Driving Highway 40 in the 40's My days in the 1940’s would today be extremely quiet and sedate. I have remembrances of having an enjoyable day with family and in reality doing little. On a Sunday afternoon, we would take off and head toward Dunreith and Highway 40, the only 4-lane

    August 19, 2014

  • Card, why do I need a stinking card? I would consider myself a typical male shopper, I buy. That is not to say that I don’t look for a good deal, but I am not going to travel from store to store in search of saving a few pennies here or there. With that in mind, I recently was in search

    August 15, 2014

  • Giving young people a second chance How many of you know what the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy is? More basically, how many of you know where it is? I had a vague notion of where it is, but I would have been hard-pressed to tell you much about what it is. The Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe

    August 12, 2014

  • Civil reunion My wife and I enjoy doing many things together. But when our entertainment preferences are not in sync, we can communicate openly with each other. That makes for a perfect union. But it may make for a lousy reunion. Let me explain.The Wolfsie family

    August 12, 2014

  • A capitol idea, sealed with a snog On our recent summer vacation to Annapolis, Maryland, we made sure to see as many memorable sights as we could in nearby Washington, D.C. This included a tour of the United States capitol building. Or maybe it’s the Capitol Building? – I suddenly rea

    August 12, 2014

  • Tuesdays with Auri It began with a simple phone call to my friend Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a d

    August 5, 2014

  • Technology is taking over You see them everywhere you go. Electronics. Adults are using them daily and so are children of all ages.I am so glad that when I was growing up, electronics were not big yet. Of course in school we used computers to do work, but they were new. I rem

    August 5, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Hamm Talks Emmy Chances Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.