by Daniel Gardner
Reading several blogs and websites, and listening to some of my readers, I've heard the complaint that conservatives can point out all the problems, but haven't offered any solutions. Let's consider some solutions.
The 2008 elections put Democrats solidly in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Putting one party in control of Washington is a problem all by itself. Fortunately the 2010 elections produced a partial solution to that problem when the Republicans retook the House with an influx of TEA Party representatives.
During the two years Democrats were fully in control of writing the Affordable Care Act, conservatives pointed out problem areas. You may remember the photo op where President Obama invited congressional leaders to the White House to discuss aspects of Obamacare. Eric Cantor pointed out chapter and verse of where the law would cause millions of those who liked their health insurance to lose their insurance. Obama's response? Elections have consequences. Democrats weren't interested in changing parts of the law that would force insurance companies to cancel coverage for millions of Americans.
Ironically, now that Obamacare is forcing insurance companies to cancel policies for millions of their customers (as conservatives have said would happen since 2009 before passage of the bill) Senate Democrats who have to run for office in 2014 have begun asking President Obama to do what conservatives have been asking since 2010, i.e. delay the individual mandate. In fact, you may remember when Republicans forced the issue during debates over the budget and debt ceiling. No Democrats supported delaying the individual mandate, and the failure to find common ground led to the partial (15 percent) government shutdown.
All but the most ideological progressives acknowledge Obamacare is full of problems. Sure Obamacare has some good points: no lifetime cap, no pre-existing conditions, keeping children on parents' plans until age 26, etc. Nobody opposes "good" parts of the law. The problem: progressive Democrats passed the 2,300-page law filled with ideological provisions and absent any Republican input; and, the Obama bureaucracy has written more than 17,000 pages of regulations which will be enforced by the IRS and six other federal agencies. Elections have consequences.
What solution could possibly undo this problem? A doctor suggested to me that if everyone in America cancelled his or her own health insurance on the same day, government and insurance companies would come up with real solutions. A businessman suggested forming an organization of 10,000 small businesses to force Washington to make changes that helped businesses and the 60-80 percent of us who work for these businesses.
Frankly, I see no solutions to problems in Washington, particularly the ill-written Obamacare that is killing full-time employment and adversely affecting more Americans' healthcare coverage than not.
On a personal note, I enjoyed the Billy Graham special aired on a variety of networks this past week. While I see no hope of slowing Washington's encroachment into every area of our lives any time soon, I do believe God will deliver those of us who trust in Him. Who knows whether God is using overbearing government interference in our personal lives to teach us to trust Him to meet our needs?