Fast-food Government: GOP’s Obamacare Repeal Debacle

A man drives up to a fast food restaurant speaker and says, “Just give me five dollars’ worth of whatever you want me to have.”  After a moment’s pause, the employee replies, “Sir, we can’t do that.”  To which the man replies, “Well, hell, you did it yesterday!” – comedian Tim Wilson

Anybody who even occasionally gets take-out from any fast food chain will immediately get that story, because about a third of the time you don’t get what you order, even if the ticket is correct and they repeat it back to you.  What’s more, when you discover the order isn’t correct – often after you arrive at home – you drive back and go in to get the order corrected, and are typically met with either a mild disinterest or outright hostility.  No embarrassment for doing a lousy job on such a simple thing as giving the customer what they paid for, just irritation that you dare call them on it.

I tell that story because it’s a lot like the Republicans’ replacement for Obamacare…it was not what the voters asked for (which was a total dismantling of that monstrosity) nor did it fulfill the promises of total repeal that many Republicans, including President Trump, campaigned on.  Plus, instead of embarrassment by Paul Ryan, Trump, et al, for trotting out what some called Obamacare Lite, the White House is attacking the Freedom Caucus, those Conservative Republicans who refused to vote for passage of the bill, thereby forcing it to be withdrawn.  Yeah, it’s “their fault” that this almost-as-bad-as-Obamacare legislation didn’t gain traction.

Really?  When polls show that the bill had only a 17% approval rating among American voters?  When it maintained provisions allowing doctors, hospitals and insurance agents to ask about gun ownership?  When it kept the federal government in the health care business, instead of returning to the status quo prior to Obamacare (i.e., where at least 90% of Americans had health care and were relatively satisfied with its coverage, if not its costs)?

Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “The closest thing to eternal life on earth is a government program,” and we saw in the GOP’s handling of this universally disdained – even by the Democrats who voted it into law without reading it! – proof that the U.S. Congress is not the least bit interested in what the American people want or need.  Like fast food employees, they want to do what’s easiest for them and, in the case of Congress, what benefits them and their positions the most.

Someone griped that “these 30 people (i.e., the GOP’s Freedom Caucus) prevented us from ever getting to ‘yes.’”  Well, thank goodness for the Freedom Caucus, then!

Such a simple thing: simply do away with Obamacare in its entirety.  Those seven, or eleven, or eighteen or even thirty million without health care insurance?  Come up with a plan to help them get it, without tampering with the health care of over 300 million other Americans!  For pete’s sake, this is not rocket science!

The voters who patted themselves on the back, and deservedly so, for rejecting the GOP establishment’s Dirty Dozen presidential candidates need to stop congratulating themselves long enough to finally recognize that the real problem is, and always has been, the Congress, as it amply displayed the past couple weeks.  They take a simple task and turn it into a Rube Goldberg exercise in complexity, confusion and frustration, ignoring the simpler, more common sense path…one they promised they’d take for over six years if we’d just give them the power to do so!  We did, and this is what we get?

Hey, President Trump, here’s some much-needed advice: You won on the promises of doing things differently, of draining the swamp, etc.  Yet you accepted this lousy legislation as the solution to Obamacare, when it was only another version of the same government boondoggle that screwed up everyone’s health insurance already, and some people recognized that and blocked its passage.  There’s a lesson for you there: you had better get more serious about fulfilling your campaign promises and less involved in going along with the GOP establishment (which is opposing you now every bit as much as it did during the campaign).  They want to see you fail as much as the Democrats do!  The only people on your side are the fed-up Americans who are sick to death of how Congress does things, yet you’ve alienated us with this debacle.

Hey, GOP Congressional members: do your job, stop the political BS, do away with that Obamacare monstrosity and start living up to your oath of office!  You think by crippling Trump so the Democrats regain control of the House in 2018 will solve your problems and return to the status quo, with Trump being defeated in 2020 and you can go back to blaming everything on the Democrats and blissfully wallow in your prestige and power while the nation dissolves in chaos?  Be careful what you wish for, because the outrage of the American voters isn’t yet assuaged, by a long shot.

For decades you’ve blamed your supposed lack of power in the House and Senate for not doing your jobs.  But now you have majorities in both, plus the White House, and instead of actually doing anything remotely like responsible governing, you’re playing petty politics against Trump because he’s not “one of you.”  Keep it up, and you won’t be “one of you” much longer, either.

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