Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Initial Politics

I've noted for years my disdain for people who phrase their political ideology as "I am a Republican/Democrat, so I believe X, Y, and Z," rather than "I believe X, B, and Z, so I consider myself a Republican/Democrat." The difference is significant because in the former, you decide what you believe based on which ideology you decided to hitch your wagon to as opposed to determining what your values are and allowing them to determine which political party's platform most closely matches your values.

A prime example of this, coincidentally, is the current Health Care Reform bill President Obama signed yesterday. Republicans, Teabaggers, and Conservatives across the country have railed against this bill as a step towards socialism, Democrats taking over 1/6 of the economy, loss of freedom, etc. What none of these people have said is just how similar this bill is to the Republican-proffered bill in 1993 as a response to Hillarycare.

From Kaiser Health News:

"In November, 1993, Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I., introduced what was considered to be the main Republican health overhaul proposal: "A bill to provide comprehensive reform of the health care system of the United States."

Titled the "Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act of 1993," it had 21 co-sponsors, including two Democrats (Sens. Boren and Kerrey). The bill, which was not debated or voted upon, was an alternative to President Bill Clinton's plan. It bears similarity to the Democratic bill passed by the Senate Dec. 24, 2009, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

Politics are a funny thing. It makes people support or oppose programs based on initials, rather than substance. If we lived in a confederacy of grown-ups, perhaps things could get accomplished more quickly.

No comments: