Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Obamacare, this week's name of the game

Obamacare, or the triumph of Obama/Democrat's health reform bill in the House is the name of the game this week. (Especially after Liverpool's loss to MU).

The whole process is interesting to follow. Not for its 'heroic' moment for Democrats. Not for the contents, which I am still learning about. Well, I like that there is finally an attempt to fix the problems in the US health care, including the market failures associated with it. But, like Greg Mankiw wrote, we still need to understand the trade-offs of each policy choice.

For professional purpose, I have been trying to follow the issue, read here and here. Oh, by the way, the blog is my new playground -- a nerdier version than this Cafe.

I was entertained by how the politics are played in Washington. Not because it's beautiful. On the contrary, we've seen the good, bad and ugly side of Washington politics. Where ideas, idealism and ideology meet pragmatism, negotiations and bargaining.

Also on what I considered as 'the cattenaccio of politics' played by Obama. He distanced himself from the micromanagement, orchestrating the Democrats in both chambers of Congress to get bogged down with the nitty-gritty details. When Mass. senate seat went to Republican Scott Brown, eliminating Democrat's supermajority, they changed the tactics. House voted for an earlier Senate version, so they don't need another round of vote from the Senate. Big kudos to Nancy Pelosi who led a successful army of arm-twisting, nail-pulling efforts, making sure the bill was passed.

Now, compare that to the Pansus drama...

Sure, some friends argued it was all about ideology. It was the triumph of government over market and big corporations. Well, fine if you think that way. But for all the pro-government enthusiasts, two things are missing from Obamacare: a government-run commercial insurance and single-payer system.

Ah, and of course some DPR members failed to get the story right. This guy screamed Obama's Asia-Australia trip delay was a sign of diplomatic failure. Our government (SBY, that is), failed to convince the US that Indonesia is safe. Well, what can we expect?

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