Sunday, October 9, 2011

Obama, a loner president

I have never been a fan of Obama, I'll admit that upfront. But with my partisanship aside I had high hopes for him. I was hopeful that he would deliver on many of the things which he campaigned for. As a college student I was (maybe dumbly) hopeful that he would be able to jumpstart the economy and recreate a jobs market which would be at least somewhat more welcoming to recent graduates. I realize and fully accept that you cannot hold the president wholly responsible for the economy, as much relies on Congress and the president's ability to do business with it. However for the first 2 years of his presidency Obama had a favorable Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate. Even with the support of both sides of the Congress, Obama was largely unable to deliver significant tangible results for the American people. The comprehensive health care reform bill which I was actually in support of from an ideological standpoint was, from most perspectives, a failure. It failed to provide comprehensive health care to an entire population, leaving 23 million still uninsured according to the CBO, and did such at a huge cost to the American taxpayers. I agreed with the principles on which the bill was set forth and wholly supported them. In my opinion though the high costs associated with the bill, would only be warranted if the end-result was comprehensive coverage for the entire population.
The interesting op-ed article here describes how Obama has been an ambitious policy driven president but one who has been either incapable or unwilling to play the politics game in order to achieve the very ends he seeks. The article refers to Obama as a loner president who has a small group of advisers and not many political "friends" who will explain or defend his policy initiatives. Take a look. What are your thoughts on his ability to deliver?


Will Rusche said...

Are you still on your parents' health insurance plan right now?

TMB said...

I know where your going with that argument, and I don't doubt that there were some good things which came out of the law. That was not my contention in any way shape or form, and you should have seen that from the outset, in which I stated I was in support of the bill's ideological background but I do not think it succeeded in accomplishing what it was intended to. Being able to stay on your parent's health insurance plan until you are 26 is a minor point within the larger framework of the bill and would have required no additional tax burden to Americans. Simple legislation mandating that insurers allow people to stay on their parent's plan would have accomplished the same ends. Instead though Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act achieved only mediocrity in being able to cover the masses, and did so with a huge financial burden.
I like the idea of comprehensive health care, but it has to be exactly that, COMPREHENSIVE. You cannot attach such a hefty financial burden and achieve only moderate coverage.

TJE said...

The article raises interesting questions about POTUS's approach to politics.

Will Rusche said...

I brought up the under-age-26 provision because it's currently one of easiest ways to see the Bill's effect. It extends coverage to 1.8 million previously uninsured young americans. Maybe this isn't landmark in itself, but I would argue its significant.

In the meantime, I do have to agree with large parts of the bill seeming to have no effect. This is one of the problems of Obamacare, that it's not instant gratification. I mean, to start off, the biggest provisions from Obamacare regulating the health care market won't even go into effect until 2014. The provisions that go into effect before then have to do with tax credits and grants that will set the market up for the changes in 2014. If anyone is upset with Obamacare not having the desired effects, its because it isn't not yet supposed to.

I will also agree (and wish) Obama could have done more to ensure EVERY American had coverage under the bill BUT there's a need for compromise in the government to ensure a bill's survival. Even with Democratic majorities, the President needed to make concessions but fortunately was able to maintain a push in the right direction. I firmly believe Obamacare will fall on the right side of history although it hopefully won't be the final word on this issue.

And, while were speaking longterm, the CBO scores Obamacare as reducing the federal deficit by $143 billion between 2010 and 2019.