The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as the Obama Health Care Plan, passed the U.S. Congress in 2010 and was signed by the President. The United States is one of the few industrialized nations without a comprehensive system of health care for its citizens. The first major effort to organize a comprehensive government health system was done under the administration of Richard Nixon, but that program failed to pass the U.S. Congress. The Obama Health Care Plan has now become a rallying cry for politicians intent on retracting the provisions and withdrawing the program.
- Covering Butts. The bottom line should be medical care, but observers note the bottom line in American politics is big bucks, big insurance and big drugs. The old adage, "If baby's happy, everyone's happy," holds true in politics. If your campaign contributors are happy, things work out well for the person holding office and hoping to return. Bloomberg News reported drug sales for just one company, Bristol-Myers, totaled $5 billion in 2010. Open Secrets noted the pharmaceutical makers contributed over $60 million to lobby politicians in 2010, and that figure doesn't include insurance and hospital contributions. That's a whole lot of happy to protect.
- Covering Health. American health coverage programs, not including the Obama Health Care Plan, covered nearly 40 million Americans and nearly 100 percent of people over age 65 in 2010. Federal and state funding also provide care under Medicaid. Only 16.7 percent of Americans didn't have health insurance coverage in 2008 and 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Part of this percentage are old people who are covered under Medicare, but fail to buy any supplemental insurance. To put this in perspective, the U.S. Census Bureau claims there are 311,595,444 people living in the U.S. The number of new folks forced to buy insurance under the new health plan is like a gnat on this population pile.
- Getting Attention. With dozens of channels all covering the scene, Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party folks, Independents and everyone else wants the ear of the voter. If one party becomes the party taking charge of voter health care, this leaves everyone else as the anti-health care party. Television stations, you know the list–Fox, MSNBC, and the rest–all want you to watch. Well, CSPAN, the coverage of the actual congressional proceedings, has been the target of some congress folk who don't want just folks watching them in action. Each station screams, "Watch ME! We need the advertising bucks!" If there is any hint of a political dust up, the stations are all over it. The Obama Health Care Plan is a gold mine for spats, fights and nasty words. All excellent fodder for the stations.
- Political Gamesmanship or Gameswomanship. The game of making the other party look bad is the reason George Washington warned folks about joining political parties. Old George is rolling over in his grave at the levels of political gaming going on. By isolating the fact that the Obama Health Care Plan requires folks without insurance to buy a policy, there is an automatic flash point. Some people don't go to the doctor and don't buy insurance and just plain don't want anybody getting in their business about it. This flash point fires up every time, just channel Richard Nixon for his take on health care reform.
- Curmudgeonly Politicos and Others. Nasty politics and other just folks who figure they have their insurance policies and they have money, tell everyone else to stay out out of their life boats Things are going along just peachy for these folks and they want to get out on their boat or use their Tiffany no-interest charge cards; to hell with the few folks without health care. Bloomberg and the U.S. Census have no charts to estimate the number of self-centered, only all-about-me people in the United States.