Tired! That was all I could feel the day the Senate released its plan to replace Obamacare. Not only had Senate Republicans formulated their bill in virtual secrecy, they had somehow seen fit to leave out nearly every free market cost control idea that they had promised to include. No negotiation on Medicare drug prices. No interstate competition for insurers. Nothing to force hospitals to publicize their price structures. No tort reform to protect doctors and hospitals from spurious lawsuits. Nothing but a mildly saner version of the House’s previous work; in short, nothing to make their newly acquired blue-collar voters happy or to actually make the Affordable Care Act affordable, either for the country or its citizens.
It was as if Congress had determined to live down to its single-digit popularity rating. After facing for months the stiff and steady verbal breeze coming from Senators Warren and Sanders, et. al. about how the only real solution to the healthcare conundrum was complete capitulation to Big Government and Bigger Debt, I had hoped the GOP would counter with a remotely defensible alternative. Nope. All they did was infuriate half the nation and disappoint the other half.
And so it goes. Democrats and Republicans, apparently dedicated only to the preservation of their respective tribes, each more interested in blaming the other for the woes befalling the Republic than in fixing them. The political landscape has become a living civil war battle site; one army led by a clinically demented megalomaniac seemingly devoid of empathy and the other rendered virtually leaderless as its sclerotic old guard struggles against semi-anarchic newbloods for whom no amount of empathy is enough. As the war of words escalates with every rant and tweet, the temptation among the general populace to hunker down and disengage becomes stronger. Does anybody really want either of these two crews of zealots running things?