Monday, February 6, 2017

The American Action Network wants something better than the ACA (Obamacare)

First, let me just remind people, in case you don't know, that the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is the same thing as Obamacare. The term Obamacare was first offered as a pejorative against the ACA from those on the right who opposed the ACA, and the term stuck.

And now, to the reason for this post.

I just saw an ad on WEAU during the evening news that begins "Rising premiums and deductibles! Washington, D.C. intruding between doctors and patients! Expensive mandates that destroy jobs! Ron Kind voted FOR Obamacare and Wisconsin families are paying the price!"

My first thought was, "Oh, God, please don't let this be already an ad from someone running against Ron Kind in 2018! My brain/heart/body/soul can't take it if the campaign season is beginning now!"

And then, the ad continues: "We deserve better! We need patient-centered care with more choices and lower costs; peace of mind for people with pre-existing conditions; tax credits to help families buy insurance; and a stronger medicare."

At this point I was thinking, "What the heck? This can't be a campaign ad. What's their point? Is this anti-Kind or pro-Kind? I can't tell!

Then the ad finishes: "Tell Congressman Kind to replace Obamacare with the better healthcare we deserve."

End of the commercial (except for the very last line that comes in the commercial - wait for it, I post it further into this blog post). First thought at this point is - "You seem to be against ACA/Obamacare, except unlike the usual right-wing/tea-party official line, you're against it because it isn't socialist enough? You begin your ad by accusing Kind of voting for Obamacare, which any sensible person would take to mean that you are opposed, therefore, to any kind of national health care... but then you end the commercial with a plea to call Ron Kind and ask him not to repeal it, or kill it, or get rid of it because it's evil - you want us to call him because you don't think it covers enough people, at a low enough cost, with enough protection for the consumers?!"

Well, okay, maybe this a kind of stealth ad being put up by Bernie supporters or similar.

But no, the final line of the ad appears on the screen: "Paid for by American Action Network".

The American Action Network is a center-right organization.

Here is their own self-description from their website: "The American Action Network is a 501(c)(4) ‘action tank’ that will create, encourage and promote center-right policies based on the principles of freedom, limited government, American exceptionalism, and strong national security.  The American Action Network’s primary goal is to put our center-right ideas into action by engaging the hearts and minds of the American people and spurring them into active participation in our democracy."

There's a head-scratcher. Seems like they ought to be opposed to any kind of national healthcare; and ought to be against coverage for pre-existing conditions; ought to be against expansion of medicare; ought to be against tax credits.

All of this post here to say: just because someone (or some organization) places themselves in a certain political/social bucket, doesn't mean that they can't go outside that bucket on some issues. All of us have inconsistencies and areas of hypocrisy. Whatever ideological or theological or epistemological or political ground into which someone may have so self-righteously jammed their tribal flag, there are likely places in which that person does not abide by the doctrine and can in which can find some common ground for dialogue.

What this organization is asking for is very much similar to what Obama and others on the left wanted in the first place! But they decided to tone it down and only offer what Republicans had already come up with, out of fear that the Republicans would vote against anything more "radical".

Humans. We're rarely rational or consistent. :D