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Obamacare -- Rx for "Change and Hope"?

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The name "Obamacare" was originally coined as a pejorative by enemies of the President's proposed healthcare bill, but now that it's passed into Law and the President has totally put his historical reputation on the line pushing it through, it seems wise for progressives to start calling it by that name whenever we mention it. He deserves the credit for getting this far, and if the present deeply flawed law is going to get amended into the kind of health care reform Americans really need and deserve, the President is going to have to continue to work vigorously on this as long as he remains in office.

In fact, it looks to me right now as if the Obamacare law can be used as a "prescription to treat America's ailments" in general if progressives lead the way by saying, "If it's still broken, don't throw it away, fix it!"

After a health care reform bill (of sorts) finally got passed into law after a year of totally non-constructive right-wing opposition, the Republican Elephant has now started trumpeting "Repeal! Repeal!" IMO, it would be a good idea to keep on turning that "just say no" strategy back on them by proposing further progressive reforms every time they claim some particular part of the present Obamacare Law isn't working.

I liked the list of simple ways to point out good things about the Obamacare Law that Rob Kall recently published, but he admitted right in the same article that most of them are compromises that probably won't work as well as the more progressive reforms that left-wing Democrats suggested originally. So instead of just holding our ground and passively defending Obamacare as it stands, it seems wiser to apply the principle of "the best defense is a good offense."

I strongly suspect that one of the first things that's going to happen now that Obamacare has been passed is that more and more private health care insurers are going to raise their premiums and co-payments right through the roof, so that large numbers of Americans who are now satisfied with their with their plans will get an immediate kick in the back pocket. The Republicans and their mouthpieces in the media will then use this as a reason for these people to vote Democrats out of Congress in November so repeal of Obamacare becomes possible. IMO, if this happens, progressives should propose amendments that will make realistic limitations on such price increases come into effect as soon as possible. If Republicans oppose this "quick fix for an immediate problem", they will tend to lose votes from the people directly concerned. If they don't and such a measure passes, that's an example of a successful reform being carried out by the Democrats.

Similar active, constructive defenses can probably be devised against most direct attacks on Obamacare, and the most important thing is that this whole strategy uses the Republicans' own strength against them. The more successful they are at obstructionism at this point, the more negative and vindictive they are going to look going into the 2010 election campaigns. And if the Democrats pursue this strategy, they can not only capitalize on the reforms that are already working, but also on trying to fix other problems and being prevented from doing so.

Better yet, this same strategy can be applied to reforms in general, as long the proposed legislation is very concrete and specific, such as measures that will provide funding for small businesses to increase the production of tangible goods and services, which will in turn create real jobs in local communities.

That's why I'm suggesting that Obamacare can be used as a "prescription" for general reforms. IF we progressives can persuade the President and the Democrats now in Congress to consciously and courageously work towards this end.

 

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Let's take the turtle off the fence post. The turtle is the 99% and the fence post is artificial scarcity and a climate of fear. My main activity on the Internet right now is running the "Comparing Beliefs" Forum on the "Innersence" Yuku (more...)
 
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