I’m embarrassed to see that I’ve posted very little here since my post-election big words that I haven’t lived up to very well. I have lots of posts drafted. I even did a BlogoWriMo challenge in November with some friends and got twenty posts in various stages of done. But every time I sit down to actually post something I feel overwhelmed and underwhelmed all at once (is that even possible?!).
I started this website with the intention of sharing research on aging-related issues. I wanted to get evidence for good services for older adults and their caregivers out to a bigger audience than other academics. But, frankly, right now it seems so futile I lost my blogging mojo. Evidence doesn’t really rule the day right now and there are others (Robert Reich, Ronni Bennett, Charles Blow to name a few) who are much more knowledgeable and eloquent about the current state of affairs than me. Frankly, it’s easier to pass on their words than to put together my own.
But this isn’t the time for easy, is it?
So yesterday I started writing a post about the research on Health Saving Accounts. Do they work, for whom, etc.? (Short story – they come and go in popularity, but do not appear to control health care costs as some argue they will and they increase the numbers of the uninsured because – duh – you have to have money to save money. Poor people and sicker people get screwed. Again.)
In case you can’t tell, I quickly became overwhelmed again (at the complexity of the problems we face) and underwhelmed again (at the ability of my little 500 word blah blah blahs to make any difference). Even as I started thing about HSAs again this morning I awoke to the news of the Senate passing budget legislation that starts the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and my sense of the futility of it all grew.
This time, however, I poured some coffee, pulled a big old cat into my lap, and started writing this:
To the Republican talk of a mandate to repeal the ACA – I call bullshit.
They did not win the presidency in a landslide as much as someone likes to claim they did. The country is split pretty much evenly on their support for the ACA (not surprisingly those differences fall along party lines). And the budget legislation passed in the Senate in the week hours this morning by a small margin (51 to 48). There are Republicans in the House who aren’t entirely on board – at least not with a rushed repeal (January 27 is the current deadline) without a clear replacement.
There are millions of Americans currently covered by the ACA (whether they know it or not) and a big chunk of those people are in Republican Congressional districts. What happens when those people no longer have coverage, I wonder? And why the rush?
Could it be that Republicans realize that rather than a mandate they have an unpredictable and volatile President who just may do something wacky between now and the mid-term elections? Could it be that they want to push through as much as they can before that happens? After all, 33 seats will up for reelection in the Senate, all of the 435 seats in the House, and 36 states will have elections for Governor.
Senator Roger Wicker (R – MS) said yesterday of the rush to repeal the ACA, “This is our opportunity . . . to show to the American people that elections have consequences.”
Yes, they do Senator Wicker. Yes, they do.