Pub Coverage

Best of Old Pub: What Massachusetts Means for Healthcare, the GOP and America

By Tequila Sunrise, January 2010

In the lore of Old Pub, contributor Tequila Sunrise was a legend among mortal men and women. T.S. wrote from a conservative’s perspective on a wide range of issues, including today’s feature on the healthcare debate.

A few months ago, Scott Brown was perhaps best known outside of Massachusetts as the senator-wannabe who once posed naked for Cosmo. But after last Tuesday, few politically aware Americans do not recognize the name Scott Brown. He’s the man who allowed insurance companies and many taxpayers to breathe a sigh of relief (for now). He’s the man who could become the GOP’s new poster boy (after all, he does have modeling experience). And he’s the man that plunged the Democrats into a frenzy of fretting, finger pointing and panic (and perhaps increased the number of Nancy Pelosi’s wrinkles).

But before the Republicans pop the champagne and start celebrating the demise of the health care bill and the likely gains in this year’s elections, they must, well, do something productive.

Many political pundits are saying that health care reform is dead after the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof supermajority.While a Jan. 22 Rasmussen Poll found that 62 percent of Americans want Congress to drop the health care bills, I would think that few Americans would disagree with the sentiment that American health care needs reform. The United States is one of the biggest spenders on health care in the world in terms of health care spending as a percentage of GDP, and we have little to show for it. We spend almost double what the other OECD countries spend, yet we have a system where at least 15 percent of our population is uninsured.

Although I agree with Americans that the current health care bills are bloated, fiscally unsound and will only exacerbate our problems, I also believe that the Republicans need to get off their nay-saying bottoms and come up with a plan that actually helps Americans instead of hurting them in the long run.

Another common sentiment is that this election indicates the impending success of the GOP in the 2010 midterm elections.While the GOP will most likely gain seats in the election, that does not mean they are doing anything right. Rather, it means neither party is doing anything right. Massachusetts voters voted for the Republicans to express dissatisfaction with the Democrats. But all it takes is one triumph by the Democrats to change public opinion, especially since public opinion of the Republican Party is not astonishingly, or even slightly, high. Voting for the Republicans is merely regarded as a way to stop the spendaholic Democrats. If the economy rebounds soon, unemployment falls, etc., the GOP will once again be utterly powerless as the Democrats go on a spending spree. Thus, the GOP needs to show that they care about the American people and are concerned about more than elections to truly do good for America.

For if the GOP wants to re-gain power and become contributing members of the government, they must become more than “the party of no.”

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