The Nuclear Option and What It Means to Fixing the Problems with the Affordable Care Act in 2014

One of my many complaints about the Affordable Care Act is that it is primarily a political achievement and the heavy lifting of health care reform was left as a future exercise. Although there have been some political achievements that were translated into good government policy by our bureaucrats, this piece of legislation needed some opposition views to help detour them from changing things that are not broke. This is most evident in the policy that resulted in the cancellation of existing insurance plans. The plans seemed to be working okay and the customers were happy. There was never a good argument put forth why these people had to be the first in line for health care reform. It seems that the Affordable Care Act supporters deliberately went out of their way to make enemies and then had the nerve to gloat about it as “progress”. President Obama’s comment to the GOP sums up the Affordable Care Act supporter’s attitude.

I Won. Get Over It

This attitude leads to a political strategy that reduces good will, trust, and consensus making among our legislators at just the moment these legislators needed to back off from the partisan Kool-Aid and start fixing their mistakes. Instead the Senate embraced the nuclear option and kicked off the 2014 election debate with a bang. The congenial Senate has become more like the House and passing laws to help fix the more egregious problems with the Affordable Care Act in 2014 is one of the many losers. One of the lessons I learned in over thirty years of marriage is that being right is overrated. The Senate has set themselves up for a bitter custody battle and we, the people, have lost hope for a more perfect union.