The Fat Lady Remains Mute

A recent online article opined that "It Is Over" for the Democrats in Washington: they are about to experience a crushing defeat in upcoming midterm elections. Assuming that after November 4 it is over for the Democrat majority, there still remains a very big but. As the saying goes, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings," and I do not hear her singing.

Most Americans oppose what the Democrats have done. Over 50% want ObamaCare repealed. How, you ask, can any clear-thinking American reject President Obama's free health care for all? Answer: Americans are good capitalists, at least outside the Beltway. We know that "free" is a chimera that ends up being obscenely expensive. We get less for more whenever something is supposedly free.

Further, we observe the failure of "free health care" in Europe: the same European system that the president and his director-designate of Medicare, Dr. Don Berwick, want to enact here.

The British NHS has been forced to cut back drastically on health care services. If you are British, over 60 years old, and need either kidney dialysis or heart surgery, the NHS says, "Too bad, no care for you." If you are a terminal British citizen (any age) and need hospice care, the government-run health system will no longer provide.

Americans like neither what Congress has done so far nor the direction the Democrats are taking us: toward socialism. The Democrats and the president would vehemently deny that charge, but what else do you call government control of resources as well as "redistribution" (President's Obama's word) of wealth?

The Democrats and their agenda will be repudiated. But where is the "fat lady"? (No aspersions are intended on the body mass areas of either Republicans or Democrats. I am trying to be poetic.)

While the Republicans spout the right words about limited government and fiscal responsibility, they seem poised after November to do...nothing. It appears as though they are about to waste a great opportunity.

If they do not repeal or at least eviscerate ObamaCare, then their words have no meaning. If they do reverse it in some way, what substantive plan do they recommend to begin actually fixing health care? I see none. What we hear is minor adjustments to the existing system rather than what must be done: radical change.

In medical terms, the Democrats took a sick patient named health care and made the patient worse. That is malpractice. The Republicans suggest stopping the bad (Democrat) medicine and placing a band-aid on the cancer. That too is malpractice.

The Democrats claim they have fulfilled three of the five promises they made in 2008: 1) Health care (and all we got was this lousy tee-shirt exclaiming how great ObamaCare is, if only we were smart enough to understand); 2) Education; and 3) Reregulation. Education remains mired in confusion as the Democratic Party continue to serve their actual constituencies: the unions. What do the Republicans propose that will create a truly results-based education system instead of what we have now? The "result" we all want is educated citizens and productive workers. Do test scores correlate with those outcomes? Where is the data? What has been proven to work? That is what the Republicans should be offering us.

The Democrats claim that the reason for our present economic doldrums is Bush-era deregulation. Their cure is therefore Reregulation, which is code for greater government control over our financial lives. Americans want neither de- nor re-regulation. We want an environment that encourages (and rewards) hard work and entrepreneurial activities. We want more (and more and more) rich people, not turning rich people into poor people. Thus, anything that discourages business from taking risks -- hiring people and expending capital -- is exactly what we don't want. The Democrats have done that. Will the Republicans reverse this trend?

In the past, I have written that what we want is a level playing field on which good capitalists can compete to everyone's advantage. The president wants to level the players with his "redistribution" approach. The problem with any sports analogy is that such games are zero-sum: in order for someone to win, someone else must lose.

The American financial system called capitalism is not a zero-sum game. More and more people can "win" without necessarily more and more losers. That is the beauty of capitalism. Though we have a large discrepancy between haves and have-nots in our country, we have many more "haves" than any other country in history, ever!

When we say to the Democrats "it is over for you," we need to say with equal force to the Republicans replacing them: give us solutions that work, not minor adjustments of "business as usual."

Deane Waldman M.D., MBA -- author of  "Uproot U.S. Healthcare" -- is a practicing physician, a systems thinker for health care, and an Adjunct Scholar for the Rio Grande Foundation in New Mexico.
A recent online article opined that "It Is Over" for the Democrats in Washington: they are about to experience a crushing defeat in upcoming midterm elections. Assuming that after November 4 it is over for the Democrat majority, there still remains a very big but. As the saying goes, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings," and I do not hear her singing.

Most Americans oppose what the Democrats have done. Over 50% want ObamaCare repealed. How, you ask, can any clear-thinking American reject President Obama's free health care for all? Answer: Americans are good capitalists, at least outside the Beltway. We know that "free" is a chimera that ends up being obscenely expensive. We get less for more whenever something is supposedly free.

Further, we observe the failure of "free health care" in Europe: the same European system that the president and his director-designate of Medicare, Dr. Don Berwick, want to enact here.

The British NHS has been forced to cut back drastically on health care services. If you are British, over 60 years old, and need either kidney dialysis or heart surgery, the NHS says, "Too bad, no care for you." If you are a terminal British citizen (any age) and need hospice care, the government-run health system will no longer provide.

Americans like neither what Congress has done so far nor the direction the Democrats are taking us: toward socialism. The Democrats and the president would vehemently deny that charge, but what else do you call government control of resources as well as "redistribution" (President's Obama's word) of wealth?

The Democrats and their agenda will be repudiated. But where is the "fat lady"? (No aspersions are intended on the body mass areas of either Republicans or Democrats. I am trying to be poetic.)

While the Republicans spout the right words about limited government and fiscal responsibility, they seem poised after November to do...nothing. It appears as though they are about to waste a great opportunity.

If they do not repeal or at least eviscerate ObamaCare, then their words have no meaning. If they do reverse it in some way, what substantive plan do they recommend to begin actually fixing health care? I see none. What we hear is minor adjustments to the existing system rather than what must be done: radical change.

In medical terms, the Democrats took a sick patient named health care and made the patient worse. That is malpractice. The Republicans suggest stopping the bad (Democrat) medicine and placing a band-aid on the cancer. That too is malpractice.

The Democrats claim they have fulfilled three of the five promises they made in 2008: 1) Health care (and all we got was this lousy tee-shirt exclaiming how great ObamaCare is, if only we were smart enough to understand); 2) Education; and 3) Reregulation. Education remains mired in confusion as the Democratic Party continue to serve their actual constituencies: the unions. What do the Republicans propose that will create a truly results-based education system instead of what we have now? The "result" we all want is educated citizens and productive workers. Do test scores correlate with those outcomes? Where is the data? What has been proven to work? That is what the Republicans should be offering us.

The Democrats claim that the reason for our present economic doldrums is Bush-era deregulation. Their cure is therefore Reregulation, which is code for greater government control over our financial lives. Americans want neither de- nor re-regulation. We want an environment that encourages (and rewards) hard work and entrepreneurial activities. We want more (and more and more) rich people, not turning rich people into poor people. Thus, anything that discourages business from taking risks -- hiring people and expending capital -- is exactly what we don't want. The Democrats have done that. Will the Republicans reverse this trend?

In the past, I have written that what we want is a level playing field on which good capitalists can compete to everyone's advantage. The president wants to level the players with his "redistribution" approach. The problem with any sports analogy is that such games are zero-sum: in order for someone to win, someone else must lose.

The American financial system called capitalism is not a zero-sum game. More and more people can "win" without necessarily more and more losers. That is the beauty of capitalism. Though we have a large discrepancy between haves and have-nots in our country, we have many more "haves" than any other country in history, ever!

When we say to the Democrats "it is over for you," we need to say with equal force to the Republicans replacing them: give us solutions that work, not minor adjustments of "business as usual."

Deane Waldman M.D., MBA -- author of  "Uproot U.S. Healthcare" -- is a practicing physician, a systems thinker for health care, and an Adjunct Scholar for the Rio Grande Foundation in New Mexico.

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