i’ve tried to remain mum on the affordable care act roll out debacle, but in the wake of the growing criticism against president Obama’s signature legislation, i can no longer continue to go idle on the issue. so anything that has ever been instituted for the first time on a large scale…has been a train wreck at its inception. here are just a few examples to give you some perspective:
1. the income tax: everyone hated it; no one understood it; it was perceived to be too complex so people were resistant to it. 100 years later it still exist, and people still don’t like it, but people understand that it raises money to pay for stuff that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to pay for. in return we benefit from clean water, paved streets, and quality public hospitals.
2. social security: a DISASTER when it was first thought up in 1935. so much so that after its first months of crappiness they hired an expert to “fix” the problems and he basically said to call congress and tell them it’s irreparable. luckily they didn’t listen and kept trying and almost 80 yrs later SS is considered one of the most successful social programs in the world.
3. medicare: at onset almost 1 million seniors refused to even take part because of misinformation that led them to believe by enrolling they would lose their aforementioned social security. not to mention most of the hospitals in the south weren’t even eligible because the medicare law required you uphold the civil rights act and well, we all know how that was going in the south. needles to say, today medicare is the primary means by which seniors receive health care and it works reasonably well. to add to that in the not so distant past (2005)…president Bush’s medicare part D that allows seniors to cover prescriptions had its own website roll out problems that had to be addressed over time. one yr later after open enrollment began 16 million people had signed up. i’m just saying.
4. peace corps: after Kennedy enlisted volunteers to serve people thought it was a joke and a mockery of the armed forces. a riot even ensued after an incident involving a peace corp volunteer in nigeria sparked international outrage. 2 years later most of the foreign governments were singing the peace corps praise and were requesting more volunteers.
i write all this to say…give the man a break. we’ve been shooting for comprehensive health care reform since the 70’s and NO ONE and i mean NO ONE, save ted Kennedy’s efforts, has been able to break through. we are 2 months in. the website sucks yes, and the affordable care act hasn’t lived up to all of its promises, yes. but if history tells us anything, government programs that preceded it didn’t live up to its promises initially either. now look at them. stop looking 5 minutes in front of your face and see the long term big picture.