I’ll admit I still get a little homesick. Even after 15 years of living in Colorado I miss my home state of Missouri from time to time.
I grew up in Kansas City, and, yes, we boast a lot more than just decades of unprecedented sports futility. We also have our jazz and blues, barbecue and, oh yeah, fountains. We have a lot of fountains.
But what Missourians don’t have is much information about the health exchanges set to start enrolling in just eight short weeks. That’s because Show-Me State voters not only thumbed their noses at Obamacare by refusing to set up its own state exchange, they went a step further by preventing (by law!) state and local officials from even working with the federal exchange. Talk about shedding your historical image as a bellwether state…
Now I’m not saying the state should embrace the landmark health reform law, but by taking such an aggressively uncooperative stance, lawmakers there are not only hurting their own constituents, they’re giving the administration just one more excuse.
“If PPACA fails,” I can hear Sec. Sebellius saying already, it’s the governors’ fault.”
The attitude is not unlike that of the (admittedly rare) tantrums my 2-year-old daughter throws when bedtime comes too early for her. She wails and whines and throws Crayons like some kind of performance artist. But at the end of it all, it’s still lights out.
Maybe a better example would be my boss telling me to cover employee benefits, health reform and retirement planning for this very Web site, and me proceeding to pen stories about video games, auto mechanics or craft brewing. Not only would I not be able to complain once my pink slip showed up, I couldn’t exactly turn around and blame him for a drop in site traffic.
Like it or not, it’s the law of the land. Blatant obstructionism will only play into the hands of those eager for its failure as a path to single-payer “nirvana.”
In other equally inane political news, as Congress heads home for its August recess (what are we, some kind of socialist European state?), we hear from an incoming GOP freshman, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, from Maryland.
(Keep in mind, this newbie lawmaker ran on a “Repeal Obamacare” campaign that helped sweep him into office).
So his righteous indignation, as originally reported by Politico, at having to wait a month for his own health care benefits to kick in next year, is amusing at the least – and some might say borderline offensive. Especially since Congress, of course, is exempt from the very health care law all the rest of us have to endure next year.
And, finally, as we send those same lawmakers off to such a well-earned respite, let’s look at all the hard work they did so far this year: Out of more than 5,000 bills and resolutions introduced this year, Congress managed to send a whopping 15 of them to the president’s desk. When I first saw that figure, it nagged me as yet one more reminder of our Do Nothing Congress. But, upon reflection, given their track record, I’m not sure I’d want them passing anymore laws.