Friday, March 14, 2014

Death of a Dream

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy (1932-2009),  Speech at 1980 Democratic Convention

It was a noble dream. It was an inspiring speech, perhaps the best of modern times.  Everybody shall have health insurance.   All  of us, with an ounce of compassion,  endorsed  the idea behind the dream.

But the dream  is breaking up as it hits the rocks of reality.

What is the reality?

The reality is we may not be able afford it, as laid out in the ObamaCare law.

The reality is that it is too complex  to grasp.

The reality is that  it is unraveling before our eyes and may die.

The reality is  that any national entitlement program requires bipartisan support and the support of the American people.  Society Security had it.  Medicare and Medicaid had it.   Medicare Part D had it.  ObamaCare did not and does not.  It did not have a single supporting vote from Republicans.  Fifty seven percent of Americans do not support it.

The reality is that selling a massive entitlement program  requires constant negotiation and compromise, not my way or the highway.

The reality is that  America is a right- of- center nation, not a left-of- center  nation.

The reality is that most Americans cherish individual freedoms with choices, unhampered  and unscrutinized by government surveillance.

The reality is that not everybody gets their information online,  chooses to enroll in federal programs online,  chooses to be judged or evaluated online,  wants to give personal information online, or to be  told what to do or how to behave online.

The reality is that Americans  prefer to get their information  from  government right from the start.  Give it to us straight.  We can take it -  not in delayed  increments,  not in misleading and  deceptive dribs and drabs,  not as unpleasant surprises with withholding of the bad new, not as violations of  repeated promises,   not in ways that favor one group over another, not slowly over the years, not  to wait to find out what was in a law.  

Sometimes dreams, even sweet dreams,  die hard when they do not rest on or  face realities.

Tweet:   Ted Kennedy’s dream of government-based universal coverage may die, given the political realities.

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