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Healthcare.gov Debacle: What Have We Learned?

October 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Sorry, I’ve been away. It took the debacle of the healthcare.gov website to bring back to my keyboard. Let’s see, what did we start with?

  • Two major political parties whose highest priority is destroying one another
  • A President who wanted to “go big” to create a “Legacy”
  • A myriad of special interest groups who gain advantage in shifting the escalating costs to one another

Okay, what did we get?

  • A government-run healthcare insurance “exchange” site that doesn’t function very well. (This is causing the healthy, but impatient, people, who they need to sign up, to just walk away.)
  • A government-run healthcare insurance “exchange” site that is a hacker’s wet dream. (With all the hacking going on in the world, an insecure government website is the last thing we need.)

Already, I’m hearing of many people tell me that their insurance rates are going up. Many people are losing their insurance because it is not “up to government standards.” What happened to the President’s promise to allow people to “keep their insurance, if they like it?”

The Government can be very effective at times, but it is never efficient. With the infinite purse of deficit spending, it has never had the motivation or practice at being efficient. Even the computer code at healthcare.gov is wasteful.

Please don’t think I’m letting the Republicans off the hook. They claimed they were blocked out when the Affordable Care Act was designed. And, that it true. However, with the dogged determination of the Republican’s to destroy the Democrats, why would Obama, Pelosi and Reid let them in the door? How can cooperation occur in this environment?

To be sure, there are some good ideas in Obamacare. Those ideas should have been put forth as individual bills. They would have been smaller and easier to get through Congress. But a series of smaller bills doesn’t give a President a “Legacy.” It just is more efficient, more less dramatic, (What ever happened to “No Drama” Obama?)

To look at the bigger picture, let’s take a step back.

The election of Barack Obama was a reaction to the extremism and hubris of the Bush-era Republicans. (Remember, the Republican claim of a “permanent majority?” Oops.)

In turn, the super-charging of the Tea Party was a reaction to Obama’s massive stimulus package, which was a prime example of über-pork. (Remember what I said about government being effective but not efficient.)

This is an overly dramatic and nonproductive cycle. Why put forth legislation that you know the other side will undo once they have the chance?

What have we reaped from all this?

  • A Government Shut-Down
  • Nearly defaulting on our behemoth National Debt
  • A government website that is a disaster, and insecure

What has the Government done about all this? What they always do: blame each other, fix nothing, and kick the can down the road again.

The two-party system is failing us. I hate to repeat myself, but why are we reelecting these people?

Time for a Centrist Third Party.

Centrists Unite Under Modern Whig Banner

June 22, 2010 4 comments

In a time of such frustration with the American political system, there is a glimmer of hope, a sprout that needs nourishment to be sure, but a movement that is indeed germinating. Two of the largest moderate political movements, the American Centrist Party and the Modern Whig Party have decided to merge.

Mergers are not easy, but in the name of centrist progress, these two champions have put the American people first. Over 46,000 centrists and moderates are uniting under the Modern Whig Party banner. Additional members expected to join this energized movement.

As the Democrats and Republicans continue their polarized rhetoric designed to damage one another, some patriotic Americans are dedicated to finding another way. Many moderate parties have smaller infrastructures, yet are expanding, as the dissatisfaction with the Washington “blame game” grows.

Why is this merger important? With a National Debt that has escalated under both major parties, Americans must find another party to bring common sense and fiscal restraint to government. With special interests legally bribing politicians with campaign contributions, Americans must find a party that demonstrates a higher integrity. Uniting centrists and moderates is essential to bringing the United States back from the partisan tribal warfare that has afflicted our country.

Established in 1833, the Whigs are one of America’s oldest mainstream political parties. They were the original party of Abraham Lincoln and four other U.S. Presidents. Revived by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the grassroots movement has quickly attracted tens of thousands of members. They represent moderate voters from all walks of life that cherry-pick between traditional Democratic and Republican ideals, or can choose another path, in what has been called the Modern Whig Philosophy.

While many of the news outlets may pay little attention to this merger, it is an extremely important grass roots event. The Modern Whig party is expected to seek further mergers to unite centrists and moderates.

To learn more about the merged party, go to www.modernwhig.org/

Evan Bayh’s Withdrawal

February 16, 2010 2 comments

NJ Centrist returns from Hiatus

Moderate Democrat Senator Evan Bayh has sighted extreme partisanship as his reason for not seeking reelection. Of course, the extreme partisanship fostered by the two-party system has always been with us. However with the recent flirtation with a Democratic supermajority, partisanship has been exacerbated. While Senator Bayh’s withdrawal seems like a retreat, it may be a patriotic act. By whittling down the Democrat’s majority may actually reduce partisanship slightly. It’s a shame that a moderate centrist has to sacrifice himself for the country, something a political extremist in Congress would never do.

President Obama campaigned on “Change”, yet he has changed nothing. If he truly wanted to be the transformative figure he positioned himself as, he would have attacked campaign finance reform and the crushing effect moneyed lobbyists have on our political process. However, instead he decided to take his super majority and go for broke to position Democrats better for the next election. Don’t be fooled though; the Republicans would do the same thing. So, no change. What has this partisanship brought us? We get sniping and pettiness that would put reality TV to shame. We get a healthcare debate instead of healthcare solutions. All that, and double-digit unemployment.

Like Senator Bayh, there are good men and women who seek to improve our country. However, they are dismissed, crushed and derailed by extremist powerbrokers. Neither major political party will bring real change. They are too committed to achieving, retaining and regaining majorities.
With the Supreme Court’s recent decision giving moneyed special interests more power, ruling that “money is speech”. Unfortunately, these jurists failed to grasp that in politics, money is also bribery.

With this Supreme Court ruling, plus weakened moderates in Congress, our country seems doomed to be controlled by special interests. The result is a $14 trillion debt approaching explosive critical mass with no common sense in sight. Those few with common sense, such as Evan Bayh, are running away from ground zero. The trouble is the entire country is ground zero.

With this disastrous combination of circumstances, who can we turn to? Clearly, not the two major parties. For a revolution, we must turn to the American people. Like those colonists on 1776, we must stand up and yell, “This must not stand!” We must declare our independence from the politics as usual and the two-party system that constantly seeks political majorities at the expense of the American people, the true majority.

We must seek out centrist candidates, if we want a government that works. We must deny either party a majority. This is a call for revolution!

A Unique Moment in Time for Centrists

June 10, 2009 2 comments

The extremes of our political system have become so polarized, they do not reflect the will and desires of the majority of the American people. I believe we are at a unique moment in time where a centrist party could break into the “club”. Midterm elections usually break in the opposite direction of the recently elected president. So 2010 should bode better for the Republicans. However, the American public is still angry at them.

If Centrists play their cards right, we may be able to leverage this discontent. However, the center has the perceptual disadvantage of seeming to be a paler version of one party or the other. We need an issue which will sharply distinguish us from the two major parties, and resonate with the electorate.

One possibility is the National Debt and deficit spending. Now some will say that is already being talked about. However, both the Republicans AND Democrats can be blamed for it, and it is a truly dangerous situation that is developing. Neither party has demonstrated the will to deal with the problem; they merely talk about it.

Centrists are not organized enough to run a presidential campaign. Besides, the public likes Obama, and they are not going to entrust the presidency to an untested party. (Yes I know, what party?) However, there are a number of House seats that may be vulnerable. If we were to pool our centrist resources and focus on a handful of races in critical districts, we might be successful. Even one third-party candidate winning would send shockwaves through the country.

We must do more that blog. It is time for action. Let’s do it!
More to follow.