Katonka: The great health care failWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
By Michael Katonka
No matter how hard I tried, I could never make the high school’s baseball team. All 220 pounds of me could never run, jump, hit or pitch well enough to be selected to represent Westlake High School on the diamond. Eventually, even the sight of me at early spring tryouts was met with eye rolls of the coach who, to this day, I would love to beat within an inch of his life. Every year was met with the same result, always a disappointing beginning to the summer.
While not making the team might have had more to do with my love for recreational drugs, easy high school girls and alcohol, after a while, I realized that I was much better at partying and watching my hometown team lose, than actually playing myself. If a 17-year-old can cut through the clouds of smoke poring out of his mom’s minivan and reach the maturity of knowing he is not meant to be an athlete, then why can’t Democrats understand that socialized medicine is a big loser for them whenever it is attempted?
For conservatives, the battle lines drawn over health care reform have given the GOP the greatest gift since we were suddenly able to make continuous jokes about driving with Ted Kennedy anywhere near a body of water. The fact of the matter is that without the socialistic lean of the Democratic Party in regard to health care reform, some of the most influential conservatives of the past 20 years would have left a much less dramatic effect on both the movement and the country.
Let’s assume that the Clinton administration never pushed for health reform in the early 1990s. It is not much of a stretch to say that without the fear of socialized medicine, and having to listen to Hillary nag and screech her way threw the nightly news for months, the budget wouldn’t have balanced, and Newt would still be the name of your grandma’s favorite cookie.
Fast forward 20 years or so, and dramatic changes of political leadership are once again a direct result of failed health care policy. New conservative heavyweights such as Marco Rubio, Allen West, Susana Martinez, Michele Bachman and Chris Christie would not nearly carry the weight that they do. Not only can Republicans thank health care reform for these fresh new conservative faces, we can now look forward to an even brighter future of conservative leadership, paid for by the wasted political capital of the 111th congress.
The sole difference between the health care debate of the early 1990s and now, and the greatest reason for new conservative optimism, is the reality that what started as the ultimate pipe dream of hippies, unrepentant terrorists and inner city welfare peddlers is that now the law of the land. If the mere threat of a universal health system in the United States was able to produce the Republican revolution that held the Clinton administration at bay, it failed to produce leadership at all levels of government.
With Obamacare now a legal reality, the fading of the issue from the mind of the 1996 electorate, which lead to four more stimulating years of Clinton, is not likely to repeat in 2012. Unless you assume that every voter who rejected this type of legislation in the past is dead, you have to accept the fact that they will, in all likelihood, reject socialized medicine again this fall. By upholding the law, the Supreme Court could quite possibly kept the issue alive long enough to achieve Republican majorities in all three branches of government.
If the past is any indicator, the staunch conservative products of health reform will have a coming out in 2012 that would make Anderson Cooper’s closet as jealous as it has been since Anderson went to Columbia with the Secret Service. As I found out in high school that partying more often than not prevents success, the right should be heartened by the fact that wherever socialized medicine pokes its head out of the ground, fresh new conservative icons emerge to knock it down.