Well, I’m back. I took a few days off last week to see if I could alter my routine some and post these comments later in the day like normal people. Nope. I find that if I don’t pound the keyboard shortly after pounding the concrete in the early a.m. it ain’t going to happen. Who says I’m a slave to my schedule?
But I can report that yesterday — Sunday — I did do something that for me at least was different. Following my 6 a.m. running tour of the neighborhood I didn’t do much of anything — except sit, snooze, read and watch TV. What a debacle. No, not the health care debate. The total collapse of my NCAA brackets. Sigh.
Anyway, it was interesting — and informative up to a point — to watch the TV Talking Heads opine on the final stages of the contentious health care issue. And even though the measure finally made its way through the House last night, I expect that I am still like many. I’m not sure whether the planned overhaul of our nation’s health care system is good or bad. And I’m not sure that I could talk specifically about more than a handful of points contained in the legislation even after all these months when the issue has really dominated the news.
But here are some random notes:
- When it comes to public policy — or about anything else — leadership matters. Whether you believe this health care legislation is a godsend or a curse, it wouldn’t have happened without leadership from (first) Nancy Pelosi and (finally, and almost too late) President Obama. I really believe that history will point to Pelosi as pushing this through at a time when the White House was willing to scale back the legislation and settle for a small gain.
- Credit the Republicans with leadership as well, both in the House and Senate. I’ll admit that I would have felt better about this if at least a few Republicans had jumped up and yelled, yes. The fact that they didn’t — and I heard Chuck Todd say this yesterday on NBC — points to the deep philosophical differences between the two parties. I’m not so sure that this was a case of just saying — no. It was no with a “because” attached. There’s a difference.
- The success of this reform hinges on two key points: access to health care and cost. As things have turned out, I wonder if the Democrats in Congress and the members of the administration wish they had pushed harder for a public option?
- It bothers me when I hear lawmakers say we are going to same billions by eliminating waste from existing programs. Has that ever happened? And if there is that much waste currently, shouldn’t somebody be doing something about it now? Go figure.
- Will this really be the defining issue in the mid-term elections? Probably in a number of congressional districts but not all. Something tells me that come November we’re still going to be talking about jobs. That’s an issue that most of us understand.
And I guess just one last point.
Now that we’re done with health care, is there anything that can save by NCAA picks?