While Ted Cruz and his fellow conservatives mount yet another doomed effort to derail Obamacare, Canadians are pointing at us and snickering. Even the super-wealthy Canadians can’t understand why a relatively modest set of reforms provokes such conniptions among American Tea Party types. Compared to the single-payer systems found in Canada and much of Europe, Obamacare preserves the status quo to an almost embarrassing degree.
The Affordable Care Act has plenty of flaws and shortcomings that should be addressed. It’s too bad that Republicans can’t engage in a reasonable discussion about how to improve the law, but the Tea Party has rendered the opposition incapable of discussing policy. Their willingness to shut down the government and risk a debt default in order to deny people health insurance isn’t just conservatism run amok. It’s a deeply reactionary response to a rapidly changing world, mixed in with some not-so-subtle racism for good measure. I’m not sure how you persuade people with that mindset to accept reality. And that’s why I’m more than a bit worried about what the next few weeks will bring.