Hank  Adler

The interesting point is that as a body, Congress did not understand how their own legislation impacted themselves. The message is daunting because if they gave no thought as to how it impacted them, one must logically conclude that there was no higher level of due diligence with respect to the rest of the bill or perhaps, all bills presented to Congress for approval.

Consider how we react to any rules changes that impact our lives. If our company changes the dress code in the office or the plant, our first thought is how this will impact us. Perhaps, after considering how the change impacts us, we then consider how the change impacts our employer. It is no different in any element of our lives, be it rules at the local gym or park, speed limits on local streets or Obamacare, there is initially the WIFM question. What’s in it for me?

It is likely a safe bet that not a single Member of Congress was sufficiently interested in anything except the overall national politics of Obamacare to carefully consider the impacts to themselves of the inclusion of a Congressional mandate.

On this subject of due diligence, we, the citizens, should understand whether anyone in Congress realized (regardless of legality) that the President could defer specific crucial dates in the legislation without Congressional approval or whether the Department of Health and Human Services could, without guidelines or specificity of law, approve waivers and exemptions to Obamacare. If the answer is no, we need to understand why this should be acceptable to us.

Congressional favorability is in single figures and the President’s favorability appears to be in freefall. Regardless of the political falderal that is accompanying the discussions about the budget / debt limit and whether the Republicans can or should tie these issues to changes to Obamacare, there is an issue in the current Obamacare debate that the citizens need to fully understand. That issue is that our elected Congress is not doing a competent job of legislating. Obamacare merely highlights this failure.

The primary issue for our next election is not Obamacare or some international issue. The issue is whether our elected members of Congress are doing their jobs or whether, to be kind, they are just phoning it in.

Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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