It’s enough to make you sick

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2017

With all the gyrations and wrangling going on in Washington to get something done about healthcare, I hope they will be successful. I’m going to need it! The dysfunction in our Capitol is enough to make anyone sick.

A little over eight years ago, the Democrats used their substantial majorities in both houses of Congress to push through the Affordable Care Act. They got nary a vote from the Republicans.

There were 218 Republicans in Congress and all voted against the Affordable Care Act (actually one Republican senator did not vote). I find it amazing that not one Republican voted for the bill. It seems logical that there would be at least one who would vote for it, but there wasn’t.

Email newsletter signup

The bill passed on March 23, 2010 and the very next day, the Republicans introduced legislation to repeal it. Since then, they have sought to “undo” the legislation 60 times.

Fast forward to now. The ACA has been symbolic of Washington. It has not been the greatest thing since sliced bread and is now said to be spiraling unto its death. The promises of the bill, the improvement of healthcare and the lowering of health costs, have failed.

Greatest of legacies, though, has been the great divide. The Republicans, so long as the repeal would be blocked by the Democrat president, have been gung-ho in their repeal efforts. One side realizes that help is needed, but the other side refuses to help. That’s the great divide of Washington.

Democrats have their plan. Republicans have supposedly had their plan and never the twain shall they meet. Americans, who are, for the most, apolitical when it comes to important aspects of life, like healthcare, simply want the people who are responsible for making the decisions of governance to just do something good!

Lo and behold, the surprise election of November, 2016, gave the Republicans a chance to finally act as they have claimed to have wanted. With majorities in both houses plus a presidency that they did not seem to expect, they are in the catbird seat. The bogeyman, known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, as they liked to call it on the campaign trail, could finally be vanquished.

Only one problem. They didn’t know what to do. Repeal and replace was easier to talk about than to actually accomplish. It was “put up or shut up” time. Or in Biblical terms, the Republicans have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

The Democrats, of course, have the opportunity to help. They, of all people, should remember how awful it felt back in 2010 to get no help from the opposition party. For the good of the country, now is the time to take a failing bill and work together to replace it with a better bill. Anyone ought to be able to see that.

This year the shoe is on the other foot from 2010. Now, the Republicans hold the majority and there are 242 Democrats. Guess how many of those Democrats are ready to join hands and work with their opponents. If you guessed the same number as the number of Republicans (zero), you would be right. The great divide is still with us.

Here is the bottom line. We have great challenges in our country. Healthcare is only one of them, but it is a significant one. It is also representative of all the other problems. One side refuses to work with the other. I don’t mean that a few refuse to work with each other. The refusal is 100%. It’s enough to make you sick!