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American Failure

After seven years of griping about Obamacare, the Republican Party finally failed to repudiate it. They hold both houses of Congress, and the presidency — but still, they failed. I don’t know that last night’s failure was a bad thing for the country. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. I don’t know; I don’t follow policy closely. But reading a variety of media reports about how it all went down, it looked like the Republicans were in disarray, and just wanted to pass something so they could say they passed something.

This was without question a terrible failure for the GOP. In the Trump era, the Republican Party cannot govern. Trump, as is his way, is faulting Senate Republicans today for the Obamacare repeal disaster, but of course he did next to nothing to make it happen. Obamacare needs to be reformed. These Republicans had years to prepare for that reform if and when they came to power. And this is what we got.

John McCain said he voted no as a protest against the ridiculous way his GOP colleagues tried to get this thing passed:

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He’s right about that. So I’m glad he did what he did.

John Podhoretz holds the president primarily responsible. [5] Excerpt:

Trump wandered around the White House eating two scoops of ice cream and watching TV and tweeting. He left the communicating to Republicans on Capitol Hill, who proved uniquely incapable of making any kind of case for anything. But cut them some slack—with no administration involvement whatever, they were both shaping bills and trying to keep Republicans on board and figuring out tricky ways to pass legislation without triggering the need for 60 Senate votes. For them also to be in charge of selling the bill when selling isn’t really part of either Paul Ryan’s or Mitch McConnell’s skill set was jawdroppingly negligent.

There is only one possible salesman for a major national shift in policy, and that is the president of the United States. And Trump is a salesman. The problem is he knows only how to sell himself. He has no clue how to sell anything else.

Ryan and McConnell had to focus on bringing together people with wildly varying constituencies and purposes, and basically ended up throwing crap against the walls to see what would stick. The final humiliation of the process on Thursday—in which the Senate basically agreed to debate a bill that night that had only come into existence at lunchtime—was the necessary end result of seven months in which the president of the United States ate up all the oxygen in Washington with his ugly, petty, seething, resentful rages and foolishnesses as expressed in 140 illiterate characters.

That’s one view, and it’s a correct one. The one that I think is most important is Chris Arnade’s view from 30,000 feet, expressed in a tweetstorm last night that began like this:

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It goes on. [10]

You would do well to look over Arnade’s work for The Guardian, writing about his travels in the Other America.  [11]His tweetstorm made me think about when I gave up on the Republican Party for good. It was 2008. The GOP led us into the greatest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam — and perhaps even a greater one, we don’t yet know — and they would not take responsibility for it. It took Donald Trump, of all people, to be the first major Republican to speak the truth about the Iraq disaster. These people, the Republicans, could not acknowledge reality, much less own the GOP’s leading role in it. And they still wanted the American people to trust them with national security?

For me, personally, the Katrina response from the federal government was a big part of it. Yes, the government of Louisiana, and New Orleans city officials, displayed gross incompetence. One thing that stuck out in my mind, though, is that the Bush administration put in charge of FEMA a numbnuts who had no experience managing disaster relief and recovery, but lots of experience being a faithful party loyalist.

Then came the financial crash. Both parties were to blame there, as anybody who knows the history of the Clinton administration and its coziness with Wall Street knows. That was a bipartisan failure, and failure to hold the bankers responsible was also bipartisan. There’s no need to go through the ugly details again here, to find out if the Republicans were 64 percent responsible, or whatever. But if you think that it’s all the fault of Republicans, read this 2015 William D. Cohan piece from The Atlantic. [12] Both parties are the party of Wall Street.

And read Chris Arnade’s reflection from the 2016 campaign, [13] explaining why his 20 years on Wall Street caused him to judge that a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean more of the same. Excerpts:

I owe almost my entire Wall Street career to the Clintons. I am not alone; most bankers owe their careers, and their wealth, to them. Over the last 25 years they – with the Clintons it is never just Bill or Hillary – implemented policies that placed Wall Street at the center of the Democratic economic agenda, turning it from a party against Wall Street to a party of Wall Street.

That is why when I recently went to see Hillary Clinton [14] campaign for president and speak about reforming Wall Street I was skeptical. What I heard hasn’t changed that skepticism. The policies she offers are mid-course corrections. In the Clintons’ world, Wall Street stays at the center, economically and politically. Given Wall Street’s power and influence, that is a dangerous place to leave them.

More:

The use of bailouts should have also been a reason to heavily regulate Wall Street, to prevent behavior that would require a bailout. But the administration didn’t do that; instead they went the opposite direction and continued to deregulate it, culminating in the repeal of Glass Steagall in 1999.

It changed the trading floor, which started to fill with Democrats. On my trading floor, Robert Rubin, who had joined my firm after leaving the administration, held traders attention by telling long stories and jokes about Bill Clinton to wide-eyed traders.

Wall Street now had both political parties working for them, and really nobody holding them accountable. Now, no trade was too aggressive, no risk too crazy, no behavior to unethical [15] and no loss too painful. It unleashed a boom that produced plenty of smaller crisis (Russia, Dotcom), before culminating in the housing and financial crisis of 2008.

The response to that crisis was Mexico 1995 writ large: bailout the banks and save Wall Street. This time executed by an Obama administration filled with veterans of the Clinton administration, including Hillary Clinton and Larry Summers. Prior to joining Obama’s administration as a senator, Hillary Clinton voted to bail-out the banks, a vote she still defends. [16]

More than 23 years following Bill Clinton’s election, Wall Street is very much intertwined with the Clintons: they helped fundamentally change Wall Street, and Wall Street fundamentally changed the Democratic party.

Hear me clearly: I am not saying that the Republican Party is blameless. It certainly is not. I’m saying that if you cling to the idea that the Democrats are the party of the working man, against Wall Street, you’re very naive.

The main point is that the elites keep failing, but there’s no accountability for them. They look after each other. I lost faith in the Catholic Church institution from years of studying and reporting on the abuse scandal. The gap between the Church’s public face, and what many bishops and some priests were doing behind the scene, was staggeringly wide. People like to say, “Well, the church is made up of people” — as if that’s any kind of defense for the systematic rape and abuse of children, the grinding down of their families, and the coddling of rapist priests. As you know, I eventually lost my Catholicism, but the one thing I have not lost is the inability to trust religious institutions of any sort. I’m not saying that all priests and others who work for religious institutions are untrustworthy. Some of my closest friends are Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant clergy. I’m saying that I find it impossible to trust the system. Maybe that’s wrong. But I just don’t have it in me to do it anymore. That got burned out of me from 2001-2006.

Which, come to think about it, is almost the time I quit believing in the Republican Party and American politics.

I don’t have faith in American universities anymore. I don’t believe in general that they really know what education is. I struggle with belief in the media. I’ve worked in newsrooms, and I know that most reporters are fair-minded professionals, and I believe they do good work. But I also know the strong cognitive biases of most journalists, and how thick is the bubble within which they work. And I know that there are more than a few of us Americans that they think of as the wicked — if they think of us at all.

I want to believe in the military as an institution, but I have heard too many stories from friends who served during wartime, and who told me of their own disillusionment at their higher-ups, and their loss of faith that things could change. So I don’t know.

Having lost faith in institutions, or at least having that faith sorely tried, is not the same as ceasing to believe in anything. I believe in the Holy Trinity. I believe in Orthodox Christianity (of which the institutional church is an indispensable part, but only a part). I believe in my wife and kids. I believe in my friends. I don’t think any of these (except for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) are perfect, but I believe that we are trying hard  to seek goodness and truth, and to live them out in our own lives. I believe that everything we do has ultimate meaning, and that all things — even the bad things that happen — can be opportunities for redemption. I have friends I believe in serving in the military, in government, in media, in the classroom, in holy orders, in medicine, in business, and everywhere else. To some extent, they see what I see. The fact that we all see each other at the same time, and that we all see God’s hand at work, makes a big difference.

So that’s why I am not hopeless, even though I am not optimistic. But look: if you have to lie to yourself about what’s really happening to keep from losing your equilibrium, you are on very shaky ground.

John McCain took a stand for the Senate to return to open, normal procedure. I applaud him for that, but I have to say, in an Arnadian vein: Really? That’s what it took to say the system is broken and we can’t continue like this?

Here, in a tweet by a Democratic US Senator from Connecticut, is one of the core problems with American life:

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No. It’s not true. It’s not true when a liberal Democrat says it, and it’s not true when a conservative Republican preacher says it.

UPDATE: Reader Kgasmart, from a related thread:

Pretty much the end of the Republican Party, isn’t it? But the Dems are hardly in better shape – do they have an emerging leader younger than 70 or so? Do they actually stand for anything beyond #Resistance and letting Frieda who was yesterday Fred share a public shower facility with your pre-teen daughter?

Yep. I saw an interview today in which Sen. Ben Sasse said that both political parties are “exhausted.” He’s right.

124 Comments (Open | Close)

124 Comments To "American Failure"

#1 Comment By Matt B On July 29, 2017 @ 9:36 pm

Richard Graham states:
“Americans have come to this point because they are stupid. They have no ability to tell truth from lies any longer.”

I think this is correct, but it goes perhaps even further: they prefer lies to truth. The posturing and the lies that politicians weave is just what they were elected for. People don’t want the harsh glare of reality.

#2 Comment By JonF On July 29, 2017 @ 10:22 pm

Re: Do you believe the armed forces are democracies, much like Jon F believes the Exodus was about freedom and apple pie?

I have no idea why you are suddenly citing me from several weeks back, but where did the apple pie come from? There was however manna from Heaven a bit later in the tale.
And as I pointed out at the time anyone who can read the Exodus account and not see that it is a narrative of liberation from injustice and tyranny must be reading it in a language with which they are not remotely familiar, as well suffer from massive gaps in their understanding of how both Jews and Christians have understood the events.

#3 Comment By Sophistry On July 29, 2017 @ 11:24 pm

Speaking of the the GOP establishment only, it’s worse than that.

They don’t care if Americans live or die–all they care about is low taxes. They are quite willing to erect all sorts of smoke and mirrors to pretend they are doing something, but as long as “no taxes” is one fundamental principle (and “free markets” is another), there really aren’t any good solutions to the problem.”

This mentality is a sort of nihilism bred in response to the incentives towards the welfare state that is inherent in democracy. A Conservative party that simply acted as a due-collector for liberal activism isn’t really much of a Conservative party. Reagan was an act of nihilism, of madness. Supply side is madness. But it is madness born of desperation. Because the path of responsibility led to their forever beating a retreat.

Shifting gears, I would also be hesitant to castigate Wall St. too much. Wall St. helped to perpetuate this paper money world which results in the rest of the world shipping us cheap goods and asking for hardly anything in return. If we had no Wall St., the goods in Walmart would be dramatically more expensive. Americans would lead much humbler lives across the board. Perhaps more fulfilling lives, lives where they better controlled their destiny. Perhaps. But materially, significantly deprived. Remember clothing drives? Those are a thing of the past because clothing is so freaking cheap that any minimum wage schlomo can afford well-made good fitted clothing. All of this possible because of Wall St. financial engineering and shenanigans.

#4 Comment By Seven sleepers On July 30, 2017 @ 12:03 am

@JonF

“anyone who can read the Exodus account and not see that it is a narrative of liberation from injustice and tyranny ”

Because last time I checked, no American would call the exchange of rule by one son of the Pharoah with the absolute authority of the adopted son of the pharaoh as “Liberty”. Is Moses just a code word for democracy? Or was Moses not the absolute authority of the people? Heck he is still the absolute authority for observant Jews now! anyone who reads orotherwise is delusional. “What’s has Jerusalem to do with Athens (democracy)”?

This history lesson brought to you by the Planet earth.

#5 Comment By Frank On July 30, 2017 @ 2:31 am

In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena. In our society, corporations and the wealthy enjoy a power every bit as immense as that assumed to have been enjoyed by the lords and royalty of feudal times.”

#6 Comment By Winston On July 30, 2017 @ 3:08 am

Rod,

The elite are unwilling to address the deep seated weaknesses and they have been expanding for this reason.

Read the Bible. To be a good Christian (or followed of any faith) do not need clergy. No religion had a clergy in the beginning. It developed because people got lazy or were simply illiterate, so couldn’t read.

American failure will be quite visible all over the world by mid 2020s.

Affordable health care means controlling pharmaceutical and hospital care costs. It is ridiculous that long term care-which most boomers will need-and cannot pay for costs around 80,000 per year per person!

Why is Federal government giving mortgage subsidies, which it cannot afford anymore, and boomers just used to spend their way into debt!

And wait till the over $3 trillion muni debt starts imploding. Do check and see what debt is outstanding in your area-including by all the special districts/public agencies.

Winston

#7 Comment By Romegas On July 30, 2017 @ 4:18 am

Rod, I know that this will provoke a knee jerk reaction from your readers, however looking at it objectively from half the world away, the USA has hit the wall quite some time ago – since the 90s at least. The problem seems to me, that US is full of its own sense of importance to realise it. Think about it what does the US offer the world besides chaos? An empty myth of liberty? democracy? don’t make us laugh – if Trump and Clinton is what democracy gets you, nobody will want it. Technological innovations aside, does it offer the world any cultural inspiration in any shape or form? why not? this is the answer Americans should reflect deeply about – why are they incapable of offering nothing culturally to the world? Is it because the only thing that matters to Americans is the bottom line? the profit margin? Truth is that most of the world is trying to limit the damage, waiting for the intoxicated, stumbling and bumbling giant to finally collapse. Despite all its plight, Europe stands a better chance at recovery for at least it has a deep cultural reservoir to fall back on (and this reservoir is not simply a matter of books or paintings but one that is actually felt in the bones and in the blood) – but the USA? The USA in my opinion will utlimately tear itself apart for below the surface there is little that unites, besides the myth of liberty – and once the latter is gone, there will be nothing left. Your Ben Option will be as good as it gets, at least for Christians, whilst the rest eliminate each other.

#8 Comment By kevin On July 30, 2017 @ 8:43 am

“He campaigned on repealing Obamacare for years without ever having any intention of doing so, along with the rest of the GOP. If they had had such intentions they would have had a plan ready to go.

No, he and the rest of the GOP (Rand Paul excepted here) campaigned on a repeal and replace program, with the replace bit slated to reduce premiums and deductibles, protect pre-existing conditions, and cut taxes. They were going to break a promise no matter what they did.

#9 Comment By kevin On July 30, 2017 @ 8:52 am

“I read Chris Murphy’s tweet as sarcasm. Am I the only one who did so?

I was at a rally at CT yesterday, and he amended his line to say, roughly “last night proved that no anxiety caused by politics can’t be cured by political action.”

Which is a much better way of putting it.

[One thing that Rod and the more conservative readers here would do well to understand is that liberals treat the possibility of rollback of Medicaid and preexisting conditions with same dread you view the advance of gender ideology. Anxiety and fear are absolutely central responses there: as far as they (we) are concerned this is not about politics, but about the fundamental nature of American society]

#10 Comment By kevin On July 30, 2017 @ 8:57 am

“Actually, your response illustrates how out of touch you are with the typical concerns of the average person. By your own admission, you don’t know anything about policy, yet for some reason, you feel comfortable hand-waving away the real, substantive policy differences that exist not just between the parties, but also within the parties.

Needless to say, I wish Rod nothing but health, joy, success, and continued employment at a place that provided EAC. But as a writer with a history of both mental health issues and back pain, he out to be interested in the shape of the health care system, because the shape of the healthcare system is VERY interested in him.

#11 Comment By Rick Caird On July 30, 2017 @ 11:09 am

Sheesh, doesn’t anyone remember how we got ObamaCare. Reid released the bill at 3AM and it was voted on at 10AM that day. Do not try to tell me regular order was observed. Reid got 60 votes from people who had not seen the bill. The bill was fraudulently used to replace another bill passed by the House by deleting every word of the initial bill and substitution this Reid bill and then sent back to the House as something they had already passed. Pelosi, then held a vote under which no amendments were allowed so they could avoid a House/Senate conference which would have failed in the Senate. The whole process wreaks of fraud and so a major change to the US economy and domestic processes were changed by this fraudulent charade. So, after all this, McCain wants regular order. McCain is a fool.

#12 Comment By SteveK9 On July 30, 2017 @ 11:27 am

The Democrats also got absolutely nothing from Obama, but they did pass ‘Obamacare’ not that he deserved either blame or credit. They were willing to risk their majority to do something, the Republicans were not.

#13 Comment By DGJ On July 30, 2017 @ 12:07 pm

More Insanity

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#14 Comment By Erich Schwarz On July 30, 2017 @ 4:16 pm

“Technological innovations aside, does [America] offer the world any cultural inspiration in any shape or form?”

Those ‘technological innovations’ come in for a lot of cheap disparagement on this blog. They ought not to, however.

I think the United States is in 2017 what Pericles said Athens was in 430 BC — the school of the world. There is no other place on earth that does a better job of adding to human knowledge of the physical universe, or adding to ways in which we can control our part of that universe.

That means, among other things, that poverty and sickness have become engineering problems, not fundamentally invincible problems due to our lack of basic knowledge. This *ought* to be the best time in human history. If it’s not, that’s on us.

#15 Comment By Erich Schwarz On July 30, 2017 @ 10:02 pm

“Technological innovations aside, does [the United States] offer the world any cultural inspiration in any shape or form?”

Apparently my previous comment on this was unacceptable for some reason. I’ll try again.

‘Technological innovations aside’ is a remarkably facile dismissal of something that the United States still does superbly well, and shows every sign of continuing to do superbly well for a long time.

It doesn’t fit the narrative of universal American decline. Even while we live in a period whose politics and economics are indeed dismal, we’re also living in an era of scientific and technological genius that is likely to be as important as the 17th century was.

This matters. If we actually want to solve issues like global warming, we’re not going to do it by saying prayers alone; we’re going to need innovative technologies both to stop climate change’s bad effects and to allow seven billion human beings to live in affluence without doing further harm to the planet. If we want that affluence to be real and broadly distributed, we will need serious application of many different technologies. If we want life not merely to be as good as it is for some of us now, but better for everybody — for instance, if we want to prevent an epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease among aging populations world-wide — we will need yet more breakthroughs, not fewer.

If we want human beings to be better off, we can’t all be Sons of Mary. Sons of Martha will also be needed. America has a decent supply, at least potentially. That’s a good thing, and it’s a very contrariant, anti-decline social characteristic.

#16 Comment By Carl Eric Scott On July 31, 2017 @ 11:18 am

When Rod hits it, outta the park! But when he whiffs it, whew! And this is the latter. Complacent about being demoralizing, demoralizing in a way that would appall a statesman like Churchill. The Republican Party is what it is. But Rod seems to think he gets extra cred for criticizing it, and its failures, to the skies. That is the way for more Trump and more Trumpism. The Trump primary supporters bought the hyperbolized presentation of GOP failures sold by the likes of Rod. Bought it big-time. Give them more? The health-care vote was dissapointing, but pretty predictable to those who watch Congress and understood the differences of opinion on Obamacare repeal/reform. And what rational person expected great leadership from Trump on this? It would be like expecting honest deliberation and common-good-focused deal-making by even one Democratic Senator on this. And does Rod know the congressional rules and procedures well enough to comment on whether McCain was right to call for “regular order” for bills like this? Has Rod weighed that in the light of the present filibuster rules?

Cardboard villains. Simplistic moralistic explanations. Self-indulgent refusal to admit the reality of conservatives being largely stuck with making the best of the Republican party as it is, and the American legislative process as it is. I mean stuck voting-wise–of course I am for pushing what reforms and purges that are possible. But instead of a stance like that, Rod gives us this baby-ish “I don’t trust our elites anymore!” “I will never identify GOP ever again!” And all this against the background of serious decline that Rod documents so well in other pieces. Serious times call for much better. Again, to rework a Glenn Reynolds quote, “You want more Trump? This is how you get more Trump.”

#17 Comment By Austin On July 31, 2017 @ 12:16 pm

I suspect most intelligent, sensitive, and moral people lose faith in institutions once they see them up close, or at a high enough level. Disillusioning when the reality is far more tawdry than the ideology that informs the insitution.

However, Western Civilization (and probably all advanced civilizations) have not been able to do without formal institutions — and all the intrigue, self-serving, hypocrisy, incompetence, and cruelty that goes with them.

Only now, with the new electronic platforms, can we see the possibility of an institution-free world. (The platforms themselves will very likely become institutions themselves, unless we can figure out a way to stop them.)

But one wonders whether we will like the free-form, de-intsitutionalized society that could come out the other side, or whether it will feel too formless, unfocused, and bereft of communal endeavour.

#18 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 31, 2017 @ 12:17 pm

Sheesh, doesn’t anyone remember how we got ObamaCare. Reid released the bill at 3AM and it was voted on at 10AM that day. Do not try to tell me regular order was observed.

That was AFTER well over a year of committee hearings, massive public coverage of all the minute details of what was taking shape, bills passing the House and being debated at length in the senate…

When the Republican leadership in congress permits that level of consideration, and THEN takes a final vote at 10:00 am, we could take another look at what is reasonable.

#19 Comment By Alan On July 31, 2017 @ 2:32 pm

John McCain is a total fraud. I live in AZ. In the primary before his most recent election (when he was up against an actual conservative), he ran TV commercials in which he said that he’d repeal Obamacare. Now that he had the chance to do just that, he voted to keep it going. This is just example # 6,381 of what a fraud this cat is. And yes, when Obama was President, McCain voted for a repeal of Obamacare, when he knew there was ZERO chance that Obama would sign the repeal into law. What a hypocrite. Somehow my fellow citizens keep voting for this cat. I guess that’s what happens when you spend $10M to win a primary against a challenger that nobody’s heard of. Ain’t the American political process grand?

#20 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 31, 2017 @ 5:40 pm

In the primary before his most recent election (when he was up against an actual conservative), he ran TV commercials in which he said that he’d repeal Obamacare. Now that he had the chance to do just that, he voted to keep it going.

In general I see little to admire about John McCain, but, this is not an accurate criticism. I’m sure McCain wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He declined to sign off on hastily written, poorly considered, opportunistic, “thin” legislation that would hurt millions of people, and motivate them to demand that Obamacare be restored, lock stock and barrel, just like it was.

Now, the long term result of his vote could go many ways. The best would be a new bill incorporating protections similar to the ACA for those who benefited, but fixing many of the problems that arose under the ACA.

Less beneficial, but more likely, would be a GOP bill the takes apart the ACA slowly enough that nobody gets hurt too bad right away, but eventually most of it is gone.

Or, maybe the GOP will just remain paralyzed, since a significant obstacle is that there are votes on either end of the party that want mutually exclusive things, and either set could deny substantive legislation a majority, unless, a handful of Republicans cuts a deal with Democrats, and Trump goes along.

#21 Comment By mrscracker On August 1, 2017 @ 11:04 am

[NFR: It tore him up to do that, but what would you have done if you genuinely believed the children were in danger? — RD]”
***********
I apologize. For some reason, every time I try to answer this in a thoughtful way the connection to the site crashes. So, the short answer is that I hope I would have been able to find a different solution. All things considered.

#22 Comment By Michael L On August 1, 2017 @ 1:55 pm

It’s hard for me to believe that few if any of you can see why we are in the mess we, the USA, is in. It’s because politicians no longer care about the USA or Americans anymore and only have self interest at heart and those of their large campaign contributors. It’s both parties, neither is exempt. All politicians care about is getting elected by whatever means necessary and stay elected by ceaselessly begging for money.

These politicians no longer care about We the People and Trump has never ever shown any empathy for anyone in the almost 40 years I’ve been accosted by his hedonistic and self absorbed ways as a native New York City resident.

But then again, Americans are no longer the peoples we used to be either, absorbed nowadays by self interest, selfies and their own ignorance (and proud of it too) as well as their intolerance of others, including their fellow citizens. Just look at the way people drive today.

It’s because of that self interest, and a ‘I got mine, screw you’ attitude that our healthcare system and the plans to fix it are in such disarray. The simplest way to fix it is a single payer system like Medicare, where EVERYONE pays to have insurance. Why should people not have pay for health insurance despite the need for it and when they get very sick everyone else have to pick up the tab raising my health insurance premiums and cost. Rid ourselves also of useless health insurance companies and the bloated salaries that many earn, the profits that S/Hs receive for doing nothing and which adds nothing to getting healthcare but keep some of the bureaucracy to help sort through claims received. Revise tort laws and make it harder to sue the medical system while also being fair. No more ambulance chasers! Also on the list of revisions is the manner drug prices are charged in the USA. American residents and citizens pay the highest costs in the world as the USA is alone in not prescribing the costs big pharma can charge for their products. Why does a drug I need to take cost $1200 per 100 while in Mexico it is $86 per 100 and that’s the branded drug!

However for this to happen politicians need to look out for Americans and not their own self interest. But I doubt that will happen and in the next decade the USA will fail due to the inability of politicians to do the right thing for America and Americans.

#23 Comment By Lord Karth On August 2, 2017 @ 6:41 pm

Real health care reform begins by acknowledging one simple, basic truth:

Everybody dies.

This is why no “health care reform package” will ever make a dent in the actual problem. The typical American commoner has been convinced that he/she/it: a) is entitled as a matter of right to never feel pain; b) is entitled as a matter of right to never die, and c) to have the costs of those two previous “rights” paid for by anyone BUT him/her/it.

Which is why I’m going to be sitting in my armchair laughing my head off until the Meltdown comes. Hours and hours of Solid Entertainment Value !

Your servant,

Lord Karth

#24 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 2, 2017 @ 10:06 pm

Lord Karth has a vast collection of straw men, and women, with which he peoples a vast scale model of the United States of America in his attic. Its a harmless hobby, unless one believes in voodoo, and suspects that when he sets fire to his miniatures, the country actually will melt down in the real world.