Good Government

The role of Government (Federal in this case) is oft debated and seldom agreed upon.  Social Security checks arrive on time and Medicare payments cover most medical costs for those over 65.  The Federal interstate highway system speeds us from place to place.  Federal Parks, Monuments, and Museums are a pleasure to visit.  Why would anyone bad mouth the role of Government?

Some are down on Government because they do not use this Federal Government output or that one, and simply do not want to pay for something they do not use.  You may agree with this point or find it wanting.  What you can’t agree with, however, is the principle of “not wanting to pay for something” determines whether we have good or bad government.

For example, the media reports intense feelings either in support or in opposition to the Affordable Care Act.  ACA is a complicated piece of legislation which attempts  provide medical coverage to all Americans (in conjunction with Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA).  ACA also claims it will get control of the annual Medical cost increases and reign them in to something more like the rate of inflation.  Is this a work of “good government” or not?


At first one might say yes, especially when one considers the healthcare delivery system that preceded ACA.  If one is listening, however, to the dissenters, one hears that ACA represents the opposite of its goals.  Look for the American healthcare delivery system to produce poorer quality healthcare and more people to go about life without healthcare insurance coverage.


The roll out of the Federal “insurance exchange” should give enthusiastic supporters reason to pause and consider again what dissenters have been saying.  While there are numerous excuses that could be put forth (like individual States not doing their share), it appears clear that the Federal web site construction management was second class.  Time may reveal causes such as how much “political calculations” versus technical competence played in “going live” with a system which the administrators knew would crash.

And there in lives the problem and opportunity with government.  Politics gets government to work on those problems Americans want fixed.  Politics, also, gets the work on these problems to also support other political goals such as favored group employment, pay back to supporters, or the acceptance of second rate administrators because they are loyal party members.

The Affordable Care Act is not a sign of “good government”.  Rather ACA is the sign of a national political decision.  The ACA web site crash, however, does reveal the potentially ever present weakness in government, execution.

The current problems (which will eventually be fixed… at some unknown cost) are not a sign of good government.   Rather, they are a sign of business as usual.  If President Obama wants to convince Americans that the “political” decision to adopt the Affordable Care Act was a good decision, he best tend to the execution of “good” government.

Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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