Those who would try to sell you a bill of goods on how great Obamacare is focus on how many millions more are insured today–and why those who enacted it should be re-elected in 2012, and forever after– by those millions. Who supposedly are so better off thanks to those who enacted Obamacare. What they don’t tell you is how Obamacare is helping deteriorate medical coverage faster than I can shout…foul: Less coverage from more and more professionals who care less and less about their duties because they are being hampered more and more and not allowed to make what they expected to make when they first went to medical school. Having to see ten times the patients they used to see, and responsibly can handle, for far less money than they once made, or expected to make.
And what about the lawmakers who are responsible for this, and say you should re-elect them–do they care about the declining medical services? Of course they don’t. Why not? Because their medical benefits are not declining with yours and mine. Why not, you ask. (You did ask, didn’t you?) Because they voted themselves a special sweetheart benefits package–unlimited coverage, absolutely free to them–but paid for by you and me.
You know what? More power to them–if we’re silly enough to let them get away with this. Me? I don’t want them to get away with this, and hundreds of other things like this. There are three alternatives out there that might allow us to stop this nonsense, once and for all.
One alternative is a bill now pending in Congress that would provide no more sweetheart deals for our lawmakers. They’d be in the same boat as we are. They’d pay for their medical benfits just like we do. As the quality of our benefits decline, so would theirs. How refreshing is that!
Just a couple problems with this bill. First, Congress will never pass it. Repeat after me, never. Second, in this lawyer’s opinion, the bill is an unconstitutional “impairment of contract.” Lawmakers cannot impair private contractual rights, not even their own. If Congress actually passed the bill, and the President actually signed it into law, it would be knocked out by the first unhappy lawmaker to file a lawsuit to void it. A good friend of mine, who subscribes to this blog, but who will remain nameless unless he chooses to post a response, thinks public pressure would prevent any of our political representatives from filing such a lawsuit. No need to debate that. There’s no public pressure on retired lawmakers who continue at present to enjoy those medical perks. They’re no longer worried about having to be re-elected. They just want their (inappropriate) perks.
So, forget this firrst alternative, it’s a waste of credibility and resources to advocate it. Never gonna happen. Nothing but more campaign rhetoric by those who introduced it to play games with your mind by making you think they’re on your side. Give them an “A” for marketing. Give them an “F” for integrity.
A second alternative is the “proposed” 28th Amendment to the Constitution. It’s been hanging around for years and would again put our lawmakers in the same boat as you and I. It’s sweet, easy to read. Won’t take you 30 seconds. It’s posted on the right sidebar of the home page of my http://NoPoli.org. But is this any more likely to be enacted than the first alternative? It certainly could. Because we the people can enact a Constitutional Amendment without any support or agreement from our political representatives. And, if enacted, it will survive any courtroom challenge. Is this really possible to achieve? It is. Is it likely? No. How many chain letter pay days have you hit? What would it take? Just the gumption and determination to gather the votes. A lot of resources, but they’re out there today, in this present climate of unprecedented dissastisfaction with our political reprsentatives. Which brings me to the third alternative.
But first…a word from our sponsors. Nah. Just kidding. No sponsors. Just me. But…do take another look at the above cartoon (but is it really “just” a cartoon?). Okay. Got it in your mind’s eye? Including the words at the bottom of the cartoon?
Now, think a minute about the latest game of “chicken” our political “leaders” are playing with the well being of our country–the pending revision (once again) of the federal debt ceiling and the federal budget. Is it really just a game of chicken, who will blink first, and let the other side get what they want? Is this about something they actually believe in? Maybe for a few, but most are only concerned with what this all means to their re-election chances, and whose party will control the country, in 2012. How shameful, except for a very few, not a matter of genuine philosophy and belief in what is best; just a matter of their own greedy personal agendas. As long as their party controls the country, they’ll be able to take care of number one–themselves–with all of their perks–even if you and I suffer irreparable damage as a result of this game of chicken they are playing with the interests of those who they are elected to serve.
Serve? SERVE? That’s a joke, most of our political “representatives” couldn’t spell “serve” if you spotted them the “se” and the “ve.” Well, not literally. They can spell. They just won’t do it. Serve. The only thing most of them are out to serve are…themselves.
Sure, we’ll eventually end up with a new debt ceiling and a new budget, but how many public resources will first be wasted, how much decline in respect will our country irrevocably first suffer in the eyes of the rest of the world, sitting by laughing at this debacle, and how much irreversible damage will be done to our economy while our “representatives” are really only vying over which party will control the country following this disgraceful display as we appraoch the 2012 elections? How much longer will Nero (that’s us folks, not our representatives) continue to fiddle while Rome is burning?
Now, if you’re still reading (hello, HELLO, anyone still out there?), let’s turn to the third alternative, an approach somewhat different than the first two. Two words: “Americans Elect.” Haven’t heard of it? Yet? You will. (Take a moment and Google it–after finishing this blog, just another couple of minutes now.) This is a group of undisclosed wealthy and powerful individuals who have put up millions of dollars–more precisely loaned millions of dollars, which they intend to recoup, with interest, out of future donations to the group– to create a new major political party, one that will likely be on the ballot in all 50 states in the Union in time for the 2012 election. They want “we the people,” meaning all registered voters in any party, to choose, via the internet, a presidential nominee and a vice presidential nominee (who, in a nice touch, may not be from the same political party, and) who, if elected, will once again supposedly be committed to serving their constituents and not themselves.
Can this really happen? Do not take Americans Elect lightly. They are very well funded and they have assembled very capable “centrist” looking personnel to “front” and run this organization. This is not your parents’ Ralph Nader or your parents’ Ross Perot. They mean to make major headway, and very quicky. And they may pull it off. Their chances of success are dramatically greater than either of the first two alternatives discussed above.
There’s only one problem with Americans Elect. And it’s huge–huge–HUGE. They’ve formed themselves as a tax exempt social organization rather than as a tax exempt political organization–in spite of the fact that they are clearly a political organization. Why are they proceeding as a social organization instead of a political organization? For one reason and for one reason only. Political organizations must disclose their founders. Social organizations are not required to do this. For technical reasons, Americans Elect may be able to get away with the disingenuous claim that they are not a political organization. If so, they may keep you and I from knowing just who they are and just what their agenda really is. And make no bones about it, the “we the people” to whom the political nominees of this “social” party will answer will be those founders, not you and me.
Personally, I’d love to be able to get behind Americans Elect because I think it has the greatest chance of achieving the most, and the most quickly, to reform our very sick political system. But without knowing who is really behind Americans Elect, I cannot go there and will instead only hope for the possibility of the theoretical 28th amendment, narrower as it is and less likely as it is to succeed. While I don’t see conspiracies lurking behind every door, I do believe that “The devil we know is (far) better than the devil we don’t know.” What we have now is worse than terrible, and growing still worse by the day, but at least we know what and who it is, and ultimately we can hopefully improve on it. Turning over the keys to the castle to a complete unknown is simply worse. And unacceptable.