Wednesday, October 02, 2013

OMG, the President is Fixated on Helping People Get Healthcare!

I don't agree with Ted Cruz's spin on what happened yesterday at the WWI memorial, but even if I did, so what? Giving more Americans access to health care is a lot more important than people's right to visit a bunch of pillars and arches that memorialize a war. In other words, even in Cruz's version, where Obama personally ordered veterans to stay away from the memorial because he prioritizes the health care law over that visit, that would seem like the right priorities to me.

 The World War II memorial on the mall is an important thing for symbolic reasons. (Personally, I don't think it's the most attractive thing in the world, but it's hard to raise a fuss if you think it's ugly because of the serious stuff that it represents.) But the Affordable Care Act is not just a symbolic thing. It's a law that does actually stuff, specifically allowing more people to enter the health care market with various policies designed to keep premium costs down. Actual real world effect should always trump mere symbolism. Isn't it obvious that something that can make a difference people's lives is much more important than something we appreciate for only symbolic reasons?

And that's the problem in a nutshell. The people on the right who are hyperventilating about the ObamaCare are not paying much attention to the real world effects of the law1, they are focusing on ObamaCare as the symbol--Obama's signature legislative accomplishment. From that perspective, I guess it makes sense to compare the symbolism of keeping veterans away from the monument to the sanctity of ObamaCare as a political icon. But for anyone who is aware that the health care law is a law that actually does stuff for people, the whole controversy seems completely absurd.

1-Okay, they are paying attention to the examples of ObamaCare mishaps and problems, as highlighted by the rightwing media. But other than those cherry-picked examples, the Foxes, Daily Callers, and talk radio personalities are doing much to tell their audience how the ACA actually works.