If you tuned in to today's healthcare summit in the hopes of watching anything constructive, I'm betting you were disappointed.
After work, even I gave it a shot just for laughs. Within two minutes, I heard partisan bickering over the semantics about trusting the judgment of the CBO for cost projections. It was like watching a political commercial.
The one thing I know I can count on when watching big government operate is the remarkable display of hubris. What I saw today was a bunch of politicians sitting around in a room and arguing over the best way to manage the medical industry- something they're clearly unqualified to do. If I wasn't already so used to the absurdity of it all, I'd be blown away by it.
Nothing happened today that hasn't been planned in advance, and so the whole thing was a waste of time- like all political games. The President may have started it, but both parties, I'm sure, welcomed the opportunity to try to posture a little harder about their feelings on healthcare reform.
When I say it was a waste of time, it's not because nothing got accomplished. On the contrary, considering how nobody at that summit had any intention of seriously reducing the presence of the federal government in the medical and insurance industries, I'd say ending in a stalemate was the best possible outcome. It was a waste because we already knew what was going to happen.
The only thing I do like about this "debate" is that it showcases the inefficiencies built into the lawmaking process. I'm thankful for a Congress so divided because it limits the damage it can do to the nation. When a single party dominates both the executive and the legislative branches, it's like open season on our freedom.
The White House and Capitol Hill should take a hint from the fact that big government healthcare reform has been difficult to pass. Perhaps it's a sign. Maybe the reason it's been so tough to get what they want is because it was never meant to happen. Maybe the Founders made it that way because they knew that government could barely be trusted with protecting people's rights, much less with managing a major portion of their economy.
But I doubt our legislators will see it that way. More likely, they see themselves as leaders and decision makers. They know what the people want, and it's their duty to provide it. I guess it will take more than a six-hour televised stalemate to convince them they're not the answer the country is seeking.