Tonawanda News

Columns

May 29, 2013

DUVALL: Obamacare isn't perfect -- but what is?

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Partly, Obamacare is a victim of the expectations game. For generations, the left has romanticized policy prescriptions that would bring universal or near-universal coverage for all Americans. Now that the day has arrived we don’t generally see the benefits of someone with a sinus infection getting a prescription for antibiotics. But all the negative interactions with Obamacare like my friend’s full time/part time problem — not to mention all the negative news coverage of its implementation — are amplified. The aggregate effect is the larger reality is obscured. 

We really are a much better country for allowing all our citizens access to a doctor’s care.

Also, there’s the perception that Obamacare should work perfectly from the word “go.” For any piece of legislation of Obamacare’s size and scope this is impossible. Consider, for example, Social Security and Medicare. They are two large federal entitlement programs that enjoy near universal support from seniors who rely on them. Social Security was instituted in the 1930s by FDR’s New Deal; Medicare was a product of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in the 1960s. We’re still very much “fixing” both of them today. There is vigorous debate about how to best do that but does anyone seriously think they need to be repealed?

Were there more efficient ways to broaden the number of people who have health insurance in America? Almost certainly. Alas, this is the one our political system produced and lawmakers should be duty-bound to improve on it where we can.

Of course, the contentious process by which it was created has made it impossible. There are some tweaks that both sides agree would improve the law’s implementation. Some Republicans in the House of Representatives refuse to take up those measures because anything short of a full repeal isn’t good enough.

Text Only
Columns
  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014