Originally, the promise was universal health care for all Americans but not one bill in the House or the Senate provides that and the main Senate bill mandates health care for all Americans whether they can afford it or not. Those who can’t face a fine…or maybe even jail.
Originally, the promise was “affordable” health care but the legislation percolating in both Houses of Congress will drive health insurance costs up, not down.
Once again, reality falls short of promises and actuality fails to meet expectations.
President Barack Obama wanted health care reform to be the centerpiece of his Presidency. Now it could be the failure that limits his time in office to a single term.
If health care manages to climb off its sick bed, Obama still faces the double whammy of a sick economy and an escalating, increasingly unwinnable, war in Afghanistan to doom the legacy of his flagging Presidency.
So much hope.
So much expectation.
So little performance.
Obama’s Presidency may become a textbook study in how not to be a President, something to keep political science teachers lecturing well into this century and students writing endless term papers on what could have been and what wasn’t at all.
At best, his time in office may be measured on how a President — no matter how popular or charismatic — cannot be all things to all people, cannot tackle all of a nation’s ills at once and cannot cure problems many decades in the making by substituting rhetoric with substance.
Obama jets off to Europe on the promise that his popularity and presence will seal an Olympic deal for Chicago. All it sealed was Chicago’s rejection in the first round of voting. America just isn’t all that popular with the International Olympic Committee and Obama’s presence just gave them excuse to prove it.
Some say it is too early to call Obama’s presidency a failure. Maybe it’s too late to salvage what’s left of his once-promising legacy. His uptick in the polls may be short-lived, a small resurgence of public interest in health care “reform” may die once more details emerge about what that so-called reform will demand of cash-strapped Americans.
The President who promised to keep lobbyists out of government will most likely sign a bill crafted by lobbyists and lobbyists don’t give a damn about the ordinary Americans who can’t afford health insurance now.
The President who promised to restore hope for America faces a nation of rising unemployment, increasing bankruptcies and millions of ordinary citizens losing their homes while banks and Wall Street continue to get rich.
The President who promised change is delivering more of the same. His administration is no less secretive than that of George W. Bush, his use and abuse of government power is just as unabated as that of the former President. The National Security Agency (NSA) continues to spy on ordinary Americans, the Department of Homeland Security — the largest, most intrusive government agency in history — continues to use the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act to deny rights and freedoms to American citizens and government continues to grow at an alarming rate.
Political prisoners continues to languish without due process at Guantanamo Bay, Americans continue to die in unjustified wars on foreign soil and our government continues to lie to us with disturbing regularity.
Some years ago, singer Roger Daltrey of The Who used an old Mafia saying to sing “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
So sad. So true.