What a complete embarrassment.
I’ll admit, despite my best efforts, I don’t fully understand Obamacare. Things like this are always insanely complicated; just look at pensions auto-enrolment going on now here in the UK (and I say this as a current pensions professional). What I completely fail to understand, however, is how a government can shut down over it. To me, that is a political system that is utterly broken.
Politics can often be an embarrassment to behold. Too often politicians seem far more concerned with scoring points off one another than running the country and helping the people they are supposed to be in charge of. I am sick to death of hearing David Cameron, George Osborne, even Nick Clegg, who gave us such high hopes in 2010 by actually seeming like an honest politician, carp on about how they are handling the deficit ‘the last government left us’. You’d think they hadn’t noticed a world-wide economic crisis! Every time a coalition politician with a mouth spouts this bullshit all I can think is that if they spent as much energy trying to fix things as they do trying to score points off Labour we might be doing a bloody sight better than we are now. But as far as I can see this is nothing compared to what is going on now in the US.
I think what escapes me more than anything else is why it is that the entire US government doesn’t want absolutely every American citizen to have access to healthcare. They are happy enough to charge into other countries to protect America, but what about protecting them from disease and death? I’m not saying what Obama has put on the table is the best solution, but surely all the politicians should be working together to constructively criticise and make it as workable as possible rather than indulging in polemic and advertising to try and persuade an electorate one way or another. It’s not their job to make a decision and figure it out! It’s the job of the government to make the system work.
Too often governments, and I don’t just mean America, are more obsessed with international politics than what is going on in their own backyard, too concerned with what they think is ideologically right than what is necessary for the people they govern. Loads of people getting shot? That is rubbish, but every man has a right to bear arms so what can we do? Lots of people potentially losing their benefits or having to jump through hoop after hoop after hoop because a ridiculously tiny number of people scam the system? That does sound tough, but we can’t let scroungers steal from hard working people. Energy bills becoming so high that people have to choose between food and heat? Well, if we lower the price the UK will be seen as closed for business for investors. Now that does sound like a worse proposition that its citizens being able to afford to eat and stay warm.
Where are the people that want the world to be the best it can be for people, not just businesses and money? Where are the politicians who put making a difference before ensuring their career in politics has the longevity they hope for? Not actually in power. If they were, compromises would be found at any cost. And if you argue that so-and-so or such a party is the problem rather than you, guess what? You are definitely part of the problem.
I once heard a very wise person, and I believe it was Sue Perkins, saying (in response the question should women rule the world) that anyone that actually wants power is probably not the best person for the people they are ruling. I would love to see someone prove her wrong, and I suspect she would too. Alas. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen today.