Just musing

Looking back on 2013

As we look back on 2013, and ahead to what’s to come, we tend to take stock – an inventory, if you will, of what we have learned, experienced, and overcome.  It is a time to evaluate one’s self.  We look in literal and figurative mirrors and write ourselves a critical year’s end report.   As political commentators, we may also take the occasion of the changing of the calendar to look back on the political happenings throughout the past year.  This look-back is usually done, not to rehash old debates, but to tally up the wins, losses and draws and to see where the debate needs to go in the future.  We can, then, remind ourselves that this game doesn’t have a time clock – it doesn’t end.  It’s a perpetual game that continues as long as we’re willing to play.  And play we shall.

Politically, 2013 can seem like a loss.  The year saw a communist ideologue RE-INAGURATED, despite a lackluster first term.   It saw a Congress re-seated still partially officially controlled by the left.  As the year progressed, we realized that the true fiscal conservatives in Congress were fewer in number than even party affiliation would suggest.  Really, BOTH houses of Congress are controlled by the left, the left drives the political conversation, and the right hasn’t seemed able to mount much of a defense and virtually no offense.

The story of the year is the Obamacare debacle.  All along, it’s been said that this program was unworkable.  But even its vocal opponents didn’t expect the colossal and immediate failure that the Obamacare rollout experienced.  And it’s not the website, which is a visible, but minor failure.  The real problem, as anyone with ANY knowledge of the insurance industry, or the private sector, in general , has argued, is the fact that “universal” healthcare coverage can only be achieved through rationing of care and MASSIVE cost to everyone.  The idea that you can eliminate underwriting AND lower costs is ludicrous, and always has been.  My personal experience has seen my family’s premiums TRIPLE, for no appreciable change in coverage (of any value to me), and a large increase in out of pocket deductible.

Obamacare is actually called “The Affordable Care Act,” which is really its only accomplishment – just a name that sounds good in ten second sound bites and on the headlines of unread articles.  At the time of the passage of the ACA, the left fully controlled the federal government.  Their key objective with that control was to pass a healthcare reform act.

1) They didn’t care what was actually in the act so long as it could be called “universal healthcare.”

2) They had to take the rare opportunity of tri-lateral control to set the stage for permanent dependence on government (a leftist government) for a huge majority of the American population.

And they were wildly successful.  Up until very recently, the Obama Administration proudly embraced the “Obamacare” moniker and the media dutifully referred to the ACA as Obama’s signature healthcare reform law.  Now that the bloom is off the rose, the administration and the media have quietly gone back to references to the Affordable Care Act, or simply ACA, or Healthcare Reform and are no longer tying Obama’s name to the negative press.

Obamacare has already caused the private sector insurers to change their products and pricing to deal with the restrictions on underwriting in the law’s regulations.  The left is now pushing with great effort for people to sign up – especially those that have been previously uninsured and those who can be subsidized.  We can never undo that.   Just like even the slightest hint of a reduction of the rate of growth of Medicare is demonized as throwing Granny over the cliff, once health insurance becomes a government provided service, the private sector solutions go away – and you’re a slave to the continued blessing of the federal cornucopia.

It’s tempting to throw up one’s hands and say that the fight is lost.  It’s tempting to say that Americans have become apathetic, ignorant, and dependent.  But, just as it is important to look positively at the prospect of better things for your own personal life in the new year, it is also important to adopt a positive outlook for the direction of the country.

1) People seem to be wise to the Obamacare façade.  Most rational people – and more than did a year ago – seem to realize that the Obamacare program is unworkable.

2) There is conflict within the Republican Party, which is needed and necessary.  During the Bush years, the left pushed the “moderates” out of the Democratic Party and coalesced around a much more pure progressive agenda that we saw during the Clinton presidency.  We are now seeing a similar conflict within the Republican Party that, hopefully, will result and a much stronger party and a much more fiscally conservative platform.

3) This is still America.  This is still the land of opportunity and, much more than we sometimes realize, it is still a population of motivated and industrious individuals.

Who knows exactly what the politics of 2014 may hold for us.  But be confident and encouraged.  We can – will – continue the fight.

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