Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Politics v. Policy

So far in my professional experience I've discovered that there are two kinds of people in the business of politics. There are those who love the game, the strategy, the posturing and the power, and those who love the policy. I love to watch the game, but I'm more concerned with the policy side. As of late the biggest policy issue on peoples minds is Healthcare Reform. March 23, 2010 the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) aka healthcare reform aka Obamacare. I hope you all looked at that date, TWO YEARS AGO, and and the same reaction as I often do: health care reform is done, for now. The House repealed it in January 2011, there is no way the Senate will do the same in this Congress or any Congress in the foreseeable future for that matter. So why are we still fussing about it? Can't we focus on policies that need to be tackled NOW. Energy security? Increasing poverty? Tax Reform? that pesky nation debt that keeps getting bigger? Oops. No. Sorry, we still want to keep up this anti- political rhetoric that raises ratings and sells books. It just infuriates me the crap that people are able to get away with these days.

This week in in Washington all eyes are on the Supreme Court as they hear arguments in the Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, aka the Heath care Reform Law. Today wraps up the final day of arguments and based on the media coverage I've seen the individual mandate part of the law seems to be in jeopardy of being overturned. Now, if the individual mandate is deemed unconstitutional that does not necessarily mean the whole law is nullified, but there is really no point in speculating. A decision will be made in time. However, you just have to flip your TV to the three networks to see the absurd spin going on right now. Just for kicks I started my day with MSNBC this morning. According to them, Justice Kennedy (the so-called swing vote) is going to support the individual mandate and vote to uphold the law. Then I switched to CNN's coverage, without hesitation their reporters are saying the mandate will surely be overturned and the law might go with it. Then I checked out fox. Ohhhh Fox. You bring me endless joy with your blatantly obvious pandering to the right. I mean  COME ON, I know people tune in to hear the rhetoric that they want to hear, but jeez. SO BLATANTLY BIASED. Fox is saying the law is going down in burning flames, this is the end of the President, he will lose horribly in November, and this is the new coming of the Tea Party Republican Movement. I'm not arguing that MSNBC isn't biased towards the left, believe me it is, but Fox's reports are so extreme they boarder on lies. Where is your journalistic integrity? You are supposed to be reporting the truth, not fostering hatred towards Americans of different opinions. I believe that one of the main tenants of the Constitution that makes our country is the fact we have the freedom to disagree. You don't have to like what I believe, but you have to respect that I believe it. Honestly, I'll respect your beliefs. We can agree to disagree, REALLY.

Okay, I've got to reel it back in. I could just get on a political tangent for hours, but back to the topic of the day.  Politics is the gesturing that gets people riled up (see my rant above), its playing a game, its the constant struggle for power, fame and money. Policy is usually what goes on behind the scenes: working with issue experts to try and improve the lives of an effected group through legislation. But all too often politics gets wrapped up in policy negotiations, and in the example of the heathcare reform of 2010 politics ended up muddling the bill and reduced the effectiveness of the policy. If you can take one thing away from this rant I hope its this:

Hate the Game. Not the player.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved reading this...keep it up! -Callie

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