Here are two great columns from The Wall Street Journal. If you haven’t already read them you should.
The first, The Republican Health-Care Surrender by Dick Armey details one of the biggest problems Republicans are facing… Their complete surrender on health care. I don’t want government run health care I have private health care insurance an I’m happy with it. It’s not cheap, it costs me roughly $600.00 a quarter and it doesn’t cover everything and that’s fine with me… I don’t expect it to.
I chose the coverage I have based on my needs and what I could afford and it covers everything it should. I’m not bothered by paying my doctor $90.00 out of my pocket for an office visit or paying a $5000.00 deductible in a calendar year, what I do want from my health insurance is protection from catastrophic expenses and that’s what it provides.
Part of the problem with the health care debate is that to many people want their health insurance to pay for every little thing… Whether it’s $20.00 co-pay for an office visit or $6.00 co-pay for prescription drugs they have an unrealistic expectation of what their health insurance should cover.
Before anyone starts telling me I’m living in a fantasy land… I spent the past year dealing with a health problem and had surgery to correct that problem on January 17th so I’m intimately familiar with the system. I can’t say anything bad about my doctors, the nurses or physicians assistants who treated me or my insurance company who never once questioned the decisions my doctors or I made.
The Second is today’s Potomac Watch column, The State of the Union? Furious. by Kimberley A. Strassel.
Ms Strassel writes:
The state of the union is angry. Citizens are furious about gas prices and health-care costs, broken schools and property taxes. These are the leaky hydrants, the constant reminders that government hasn’t done much for them lately. Their fury has bubbled as they’ve watched Washington obsess over itself – dealing out earmarks, paying off constituencies, launching probes into political enemies. Accomplishing zip.
This anger is the best way to describe today’s political landscape. Ever since Republicans were routed in 2006, and more recently with their loss of three special elections, the party has been in a debate about what changed in the country and what to do in response. In the primaries, as Mike Huckabee pitched to evangelicals, Rudy Giuliani pitched to fiscal conservatives, and Mitt Romney pitched to anything that moved, some went so far as to declare the “death” of the Reagan coalition.
She’s absolutely correct, Republicans (and Democrats for that matter) in Washington are painfully out touch with what matters on main street. They’re more interested in pork barrel projects, pandering to special interests or playing political games than addressing real issues and solving problems. The soaring price of gas is just one example… We’re not stupid out here, we know when we’re being lied to or when we’re being pandered to. Rather then address the issues that have led to high prices, principally the weak dollar, our leaders put forth ideas like a windfall profits tax on oil companies or temporary moratorium on the federal gas tax. If they really wanted to address the issue they’d be talking about strengthening the dollar, building new refineries and increasing domestic oil production so we weren’t as dependent on foreign imports.
The Reagan Coalition isn’t dead but it’s no longer being represented… and there in lies the problem for Republicans, they’ve lost the trust of the people that helped bring them to power. If they want to have any chance in November they have to get it back and champion an agenda that will inspire them.