The last post I discussed why liberals should be giving Obama a break. Mainly because even though we did not get everything we had hoped for, about 75 percent of it is still there. Just today a story came out in the New York Times about how the federal government is going to start regulating health care prices in ten states, lowering the price for millions of American’s.
I got a lot of responses to this one, mostly via LinkedIn, and thought it would be better to respond to some of the comments here. Most people agreed with my assessment of the liberal take and why they are upset with Obama. What they disagreed with though is giving him a break. They brought up some good points such as a single payer system would be cheaper. But for the most part their arguments rely on facts that just aren’t true.
For instance, one person said “without a individual mandate there is no reason to pass anything in regards to health care. The went on to say Medicare has nothing to do with our debt. But the Affordable Care Act will lower prices not just because the insurance companies are taking in more money, but because of the regulations that will be enacted. And yes, Medicare has a huge part to do with our debt. Because of the lack of price controls it was costing American’s thousands out of their pockets, and (because the program subsidizes those costs) added enormous amount to the debt. One of the main arguments used by Democrats was when the CBO estimated it would lower America’s deficit around one hundred billion dollars. It’s not great, but it’s a start and better then leaving more people without coverage.
The main theme I kept hearing though is that they don’t like the way Obama has governed. With this, I absolutely agree with them. When Andy Borowitz writes about how Democrats are looking for the guy who ran in 2008, you know you’re in trouble. Whether the policy is good or bad, or you agree or disagree, President Obama has not had that same fire as he did on 2008. People voted for change and want to see an aggressive president make them. Whether trying to reach the middle or not, the bully pulpit shouldn’t be used as a threat against the opposing party. It is the stick that all Presidents use to focus the debate and get their legislation passed. Obama didn’t do this during health care and he almost didn’t get anything through Congress.
The left is lacking this leadership right now and it’s frustrating. Many people, including myself, voted for Obama thinking this was our moment to make serious changes to Washington, and yes believed it would happen faster. But change takes time, no matter who is in office. And I would still rather have a moderate Democrat who needs to appease me, then a moderate Republican who needs to appease the opposition.