Blame George Bush and the GOP for Sandra Fluke and Slut-Gate
Lost in the Rush Limbaugh/Slut-Gate firestorm is the discussion about why real heathcare reform has yet to be achieved. Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster, as government bureaucrats should never be deciding who gets what medications and treatments, and, ultimately, who lives and dies.
That said, the current system needs a massive overhaul. Do we have to do a much better job at reducing the number of uninsured Americans? Absolutely. Are there concrete ways to stop skyrocketing healthcare costs? You bet. But nationalized health care is not the answer.
Not surprisingly, many common sense solutions can be found in the Republican Party platform. Just as predictable, they remain a pipe dream, casualties of George W. Bush’s inept administration and an impotent Congress.
So the biggest loser to come out of the Limbaugh controversy is the Republican Party. This was another fantastic issue the Republicans could have used to differentiate themselves from Obama and the Democrats, and they squandered the opportunity. What else is new?
Not one Republican leader—and not one GOP presidential contender—transformed this into what it is: the lack of common sense healthcare reform. But God forbid any of them tell the truth by pointing the finger at themselves as to why we find ourselves having this debate at all.
Here’s the truth: This is George W. Bush’s fault, along with the sizable GOP majorities he had in both houses for six straight years. Did they make any real attempt to solve the problem of skyrocketing healthcare costs? No. Had they done so, Sandra Fluke wouldn’t be begging the taxpayers to pay for her contraceptives.
As it now stands in America, if you don’t like your employer’s health insurer, you can either pay for a different insurer out of pocket (totally impractical since there are so few options and far too expensive), or change jobs (more impractical). Notice that there is no option to buy insurance across state lines, since that is illegal. So while we can buy auto insurance from any state in the country, we are banned from doing so for health insurance.
Why such a stranglehold on the free market? Because it’s not in the interests of the big insurance players to have such consumer choice, as they would be forced to actually become competitive. Thankfully for them, they have deep pockets that they use to fund the coffers of politicians. Result? Consumers are held hostage to skyrocketing rates and decreasing coverage, while the insurers laugh all the way to the bank.
Consequently, true healthcare portability remains as elusive as ever, to the detriment of Americans. Job-creating innovation and entrepreneurship is stifled because they are held hostage to the current system.
Then there are the flexible spending accounts that still have a “use it or lose it” policy. Instead of encouraging savings, such plans only serve to have consumers making a mad dash to the pharmacy so they can buy 27 bottles of aspirin before their money—yes, their money—disappears.
Medical malpractice reform? Did the Republicans and President Bush—while riding an unprecedented wave of popularity—have the guts to take on the trial lawyers who, more than anyone, are the cause of massive increases in health insurance premiums? A look at how many Republicans took big money from these scourges of society is all you need to know.
And the GOP failed miserably at throwing the left’s hypocrisy back in its face. These are the people who advocate unrestricted abortion, screaming that government has no place in the uterus, while asking the same government to fund their contraceptives (which, I believe, affects that very same uterus). The inconsistency of those folks was a gimme, a political home run for the Republicans. But their silence has been deafening.
Had the Republicans did what they promised—what they surely could have achieved with just a bit of political will—this whole Rush/slut/contraceptive debate would never have taken place, because there would never have been Obama, and hence, no Obamacare. But that is a lesson lost on way too many Republicans, who find it convenient to blame everyone but their own Party.