A part of me — the bad part — wanted to see Trumpcare pass the House.
If that plan had gotten both House and Senate approval and became law, the people who would have been hurt the most would have been Trump supporters, many of whom are of the age needing healthcare.
In politics, I often like how karma works.
But in the bigger picture, the failure of Trumpcare last week was probably a good thing. It would have created more havoc than it would have solved. Older people like me, 50-64-years-old, would have seen their health insurance premiums soar. Insurance companies would have created cheap, but worthless, policies that preyed on the gullibility of buyers. Consumers would have been the loser.
There are dozens of different views and opinions on how to fix the health insurance marketplace. Obamacare didn’t fix it. Trumpcare wouldn’t have, either.
The real problem was that nobody involved really gave a damn about the American people. It was all about politics.
Republicans hated Obama-care simply because it had Obama’s name attached to it. They spent seven years ripping it, along with their lapdogs on FOX and talk radio.
Democrats loved it simply because it had Obama’s name attached to it. They knew it had problems, but didn’t try to fix them.
Under Trump, there was no real policy discussion, no understanding of how it all works. The “repeal” movement was nothing more than a political stab at Obama. There was no “replace.”
Trump ran on the idea that he could create a “beautiful” insurance system that would cover everyone and be cheaper.
That was a fallacy, empty political talk. Nobody should have believed it. Trump is no policy wonk and certainly didn’t have any idea about how health insurance works.
The best thing would have been for both sides to have focused on fixing the problems in Obamacare. Instead, we got political mush from both Democrats and Republicans.
Nothing got done. Trump failed. Republicans failed. Democrats failed.
And we, the American healthcare consumer, lost.
Rep. Tommy Benton’s (R-Jefferson) move last week to wade back into refighting the Civil War caught me off guard. Although Benton has long carried the flag for memorializing the Confederacy, I didn’t expect him to take another shot this year in his quixotic quest.
Benton introduced a bill last week that would re-designate the fourth Monday of April as Confederate Memorial Day. That designation was dropped by Gov. Nathan Deal a couple years ago during the uproar following the racial murders in Charleston, SC.
I love Civil War history. I’ve been to dozens of battlegrounds and have a number of ancestors who fought in that conflict on both sides. To understand Southern history, you have to understand the role that war played here.
But I’m tired of this ongoing political conflict where we refight that war over and over and over. It was a horrible, terrible war. There was nothing romantic about it.
It came from a perverse sense of regionalism. It came from a perverse economic system of human bondage.
No matter how much we might want it to have been a great “Lost Cause,” it was a stupid war where Americans killed fellow Americans in awful numbers.
And we — The South — lost. Slavery was abolished. The Southern economy was crushed and we remained an isolated backwater for 100 years after the war ended. Only in my lifetime has the South begun to recover and to move into the mainstream of American economic life.
I don’t judge my ancestors who fought in that war. They did what they did, good and bad. Some lived to talk about it. Others died.
Does having a special day to memorialize them matter now? Why not just have a national Civil War Memorial Day that honors all those who died in that war on both sides?
Benton and many others think it does matter and fear efforts to destroy monuments that honor the memory of Confederate soldiers.
They have a point. There are those who would like to scrub every icon of the Confederacy.
But I’m not sure this is a fight we need to be having in 2017. Our state and nation have a lot of other problems we need to be talking about. Benton and his fellow legislators should focus on those.
This kind of effort is really just a side show and only detracts from today’s pressing issues.
And no matter how many times we refight the Civil War, the outcome will always be the same. No amount of memorializing, or recasting of the past will change that.
It’s time to put our efforts into building for the future rather than fighting — over and over and over — about a past we can’t change.
I’m tired of our elected hypocrites in government.
I’m all for trying to fix health insurance and healthcare in the nation, but whatever is done should also apply to the members of Congress and the entire federal government. I’m sick of how both Republicans and Democrats pretend to know what’s best for Americans while they continue to get the kind of first-class health insurance benefits they want to deny the rest of us.
And I’m all for allowing guns on college campuses with Georgia’s “campus carry” legislation, but only if state legislators also allow guns into the State Capitol where they meet. Currently, our state legislators shout and wave their banner for more “gun rights” while standing behind the metal detectors under the Gold Dome.
Mike Buffington is co-publisher of Mainstreet Newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.