Rod Jetton: Response to Jonathan Miller’s “Leaning Into Obamacare”

156_Rod_Jetton_(R)_Marble_Hill(RP Rod Jetton responds to Jonathan Miller’s column yesterday in The Daily Beast, “Leaning Into Obamacare.”

I love Jonathan Miller, but someone has to add some reality to this debate.  The political experts will find Jensen’s pro-ACA strategy will lead to defeat in November.  I give her credit for being bold, heck I even admire her for her valiant effort, but sadly, it will end in failure. I’m sure her fundraisers and campaign events are filled with all kinds of praise, encouragement and pats on the back as her liberal friends encourage her to rush up little round top just as Pickets men did at Gettysburg. But soon the cheers will end and the medics will comb the battlefield looking for casualties.  Once the realities of a world where independents and republicans help pick winners sink in, Jensen will long for the early days of the campaign when the sun was shining, the bugles were playing and everyone loved her.

I know my liberal friends love the ACA and have the best intentions for helping more people afford insurance.  Shoot, this may even be the best plan for doing it. But right now this program is costing most Americans more money.  This is why it is so unpopular.  Once the full force of the program kicks in even more Americans will see premiums increase.  Should it surprise anyone that providing insurance to more people will cost more money?  It may not be fair to blame everything on the ACA, but everyone will.

Of course, the Republicans are not offering and other options, nor do they have an answer for rising healthcare costs, but right now they don’t need one. All they need to do is sit back and sadly shake their head while pointing out what is wrong with the program.  They have no idea what to do and I suspect that many of them quietly harbor fears of winning the senate, which would force them to develop and pass their own healthcare program.

As a former Republican I know what it is like to support a program and hope the bugs get fixed all while believing voters will embrace it someday.  Occasionally “someday” even comes, but before that anticipated day arrives the political casualties pile up.  I don’t think it was an accident the Republicans screamed bloody murder about the ACA and then suddenly caved right at the end of the budget negations and funded it.  Many democrats told themselves, “We beat them.” But did they really?

If republicans really believed that the ACA was a disaster waiting to happen and that voters would be mad once it passed, wouldn’t it be in their best interest to let it pass?  Republicans told the whole world know they didn’t like this program, were against this program and had nothing to do with the program, before quietly letting it be implemented, all the while hoping that the public would hate the program and blame the Democrats.

What’s that? I can barely hear you mumbling to your friends. “Republicans are not that mean, smart, or devious.” Let me fill you in on a little secret.  Both parties are made up of lots of people who love the country, care about the people and hope to make things better, but their number one priority above all those other worthy goals is to… STAY in power.

I do not know Elisabeth Jensen, but I bet she is a good hearted, true believer, fighting for her principles. I even bet many of the people who are supporting her have the best of intentions.  Unfortunately, just like General Pickets men at Gettysburg Jensen and many of her supporters will be sacrificed on the field of battle to help cold hearted, cynical politicians in Washington DC stay in power. I wish Jonathan were right and well-meaning people from both sides of the aisle could work together to fix healthcare, but he isn’t.  While there is nothing wrong with hoping, don’t be too surprised when Jensen comes up a bit short.


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