You see, the thing is this Affordable Care Act had to work, right out of the gate. You know, it’s kind of been in the news, front and center (more or less) since 2010. We saw it get rammed through both houses of Congress and quickly signed into law by our president. We saw the protests and the birth of the TEA Party movement and all the crazies elected on its back that fall. We lived through the countless debates before and after its passing—thousands of confusing pages hardly anyone who voted for it read. Oh, there were also those 40-plus votes to expunge it, the failed Supreme Court challenge and last year’s election that actually went on for two years when both sides used it as a referendum for its existence.
This thing has to work… period. Not later, but now. Right now. Not in a little while or soon or once things are sorted out. This has been coming for nearly four years in which the opposition has grown and people were just waiting for it to go belly up. We all knew it was coming, for good or ill.
And its roll out?
You know, when I was on tour for my third book, Trailing Jesus (available now at Amazon and other fine book stores along with my latest novel, y,which you should read—it lowers cholesterol and helps fight crime), someone asked me why I use so many expletives in my work.
This is why.
Web site doesn’t work. Actually, no one knows if it works, since you can’t log onto the goddamn thing. Phone operators are useless, no one can sign up, and when they do, their info is fucked.
This is an abject embarrassment for the president and all those in Congress who voted for it. No getting around that one. If Nancy Pelosi wasn’t sniffing glue right now, she might want to locate where they buried that bleating jackass Ted Kennedy, exhume him, and spit his bones into the polluted end of the Potomac.
Okay, I guess it’s not as bad as 9/11 or Katrina, where the federal government let citizens die, or these 20 or so wars we have going, where everyone dies, and it may not be as bad as those grand fuck ups in Benghazi and other places abroad we’ve been stumble-bumming around since 1958, but it’s pretty goddamn bad.
Now, total disclosure: I was against the whole thing from jump street. I nearly came to blows with Michael Moore, who I consider a friend, in July of 2007 over the very notion of it. Not sure this system can handle any more weight—we can’t fight wars or protect the borders, or even balance a budget or agree to pay bills we’ve already run up.
Hell, I’ve been to the DMV, buddy. I lived through Gerald Ford trying to kill us with poison flu shots. I’m well aware of how the War on Drugs is working out.
Now there’s this.
And there is no way to spin it.
A rousing crap hole.
It does not work and will not work for some time.
And blaming Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is akin to blaming that human haircut Oliver North for Iran/Contra. These are errant junkies, pencil pushers, who take one for the team. This, like everything else we discuss here year after agonizing year, is systemic, a giant festering gob of snake oil pitched by glorified carnies.
The whole fiasco reminds me of those slack-jawed, knuckle-scrapers at Guitar Center or the mutants at A-Riteway Construction, who are likely working under an assumed name nowadays so they can continue ripping off half of New Jersey. They all claim to be assisting you, but in the end fist you right in the posterior.
I bet this could have gone worse, if there were actually death panels or if garbled tapes of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin started screeching about the doomed proletariat and somewhere in there Donald Trump posted a Kenyan birth certificate of Joe Cool, but aside from that…?
The only hope is that drooling cretins like Ted Cruz drive their car off a bridge like Teddy K. with a tipsy cocktail waitress who ends up dead and we get someone with half a brain to oppose this shit. Or, more likely, it sinks on its own momentum and the government doesn’t get its $7 million sign-ups. The entire pile goes bankrupt.
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus” and “Y”.