By Manifesto Joe
I had misgivings about Barack Obama from the start -- that's why I voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. I doubted that Obama had the Beltway experience that he needed for an effective White House. In many ways, I'd say that has proved to be true.
But my sympathies are largely with Obama now, especially in some of his worst hours. I think the man's heart is generally in the right place, and he's splattered with mud no matter what he does or doesn't do. Now we even have right-wing crazies who think he should bomb Russia over what Putin is doing in Ukraine. After almost 25 years of no Soviet Union, these maniacs, at long last, really want to do a nuke-athon with Vladimir? And over Ukraine, a former Soviet "republic." Give me a break!
That issue aside, the thing the wingnuts seem intent on taking to November with them is the problems with "Obamacare." Granted, it hasn't gone that well, and no such half-assed solution to the U.S. health care dilemma ever will. But one thing that's becoming clearer -- "Obamacare" is better than nothing, and it is largely helping people it was intended to help.
In particular, the 55- to 64-year-olds of America were being seriously left out in the cold when it came to health insurance. During the Great Recession, our corporate masters were pissing their pants to get rid of people in that demographic group -- the soon-to-be-retirees who comprise the most vulnerable of those in the workforce. I know from experience. The bastards swung the ax at me just before I turned 56.
The particular problem with people of that age, people like me, is that certain health problems start to show up at that age; and, with the years and decades of experience in the chosen fields, people of that age actually expect to be paid. Silly, isn't it?
Anyway, a lot of asses hit the pavement during those years, just at the time when the individuals had saved up for retirement, had health issues that would make insurance no option, but they were too young to retire and too young to qualify for Medicare.
Enter "Obamacare." It was nothing great, but it was better than nothing. Here's a link about how people of our demographic have benefited from this program. Oh, and while we're at it, here's another. I was lucky enough to get a job after 27 weeks of unemployment, but not everyone fitting this description was that fortunate.
Of course, there have been two problems that could have been predicted. In many states, the refusal of Republican governors to expand Medicaid has had the effect of actually increasing the prospective number of uninsured people, even with "Obamacare." Gov. Rick "El Pendejo" Perry of Texas has been one of them. He'll certainly never have to worry about getting health insurance, nor will any of his privileged kin.
The other problem is simply that this is a half-assed solution to a double-cheeked problem. People on the right are saying a lot of moronic things, like that they envision a health insurance system that is strictly private and resembles the mandatory car insurance market. Right, as though a seriously ill person can shop around for insurance like some Arab trader. Single-payer, as distasteful as this is to the right wing, looks more inevitable now than ever before. It would, and ultimately will, solve a great many problems.
In the meantime, for those in the 55 to 64 age group, this has proved better than nothing. We should be thankful for small favors.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.