The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Issues That Time Forgot

Today the DNR has an article outlining the problems that Medicaid is facing as the population ages. A report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Comission lays out the looming crisis to the states Medicaid system. Unfortunately this article does not appear at the DNROnline but the report is at the JLARC website. With estimates of a 500 million dollar shortfall why was there no discussion of the problem and solutions in the last election. This is where modern politics is killing us. Here in the 26th, Matt Lohr won a delegate seat largely based on his party affiliation and a promise to support the Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage. The first is not a issue at all and the second is only an issue if you believe that outlawing what is already illegal is constructive use of state resources. So this begs the question why don't candidates talk about Medicaid and social services for the elderly? Let me propose an answer.

  1. People are too lazy to be informed. - One does not need to watch, listen or read the news in order to have an opinion about gay marriage. It fundamentally is a judgment call, you are either for it or against it for wholly personal reasons. To have an opinion about Medicaid would mean to know about what Medicaid does and how its costing us so much money. So when a candidate talks about gay marriage you can either agree or disagree regardless of whether your actually informed about the subject.
  2. Complicated problems don't make sound bites. - An adjunct to the point above. Condensing the problems of an aging population into a 30 second commercial is impossible. The media certainly doesn't want to cover it because it would take longer than the entire 30 minute news program to cover let alone the 2 minutes given to a single story. Most people hate politics so they are not going to sit through anything longer than a minute or two about anything. Again, gay marriage is a better issue, its easy, fast, subject to soundbites.
  3. Politicians don't like issues with painful solutions. - No way to fix Medicaid other than cut seniors and poor people from the roles, cut spending elsewhere to pay or raise taxes. No one wants to do any of these because, if you advocate raising taxes your a tax and spend liberal and if you want to cut Medicaid roles your a heartless conservative. Both of those lables are highly sound bitable and are easy for the laziest of voters to understand.
The solution begins here in the blogosphere where partisans can put down there weapons and stop stumping for their parties like they route for their sports teams. Someone is going to pay these bills either the poor and the elderly or the rest of us. Its only a matter of time.


  • At 11/22/2005 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    cool, glad to see that this blog has been put back up, Will did a good job, so far so good.

  • At 11/22/2005 11:31 AM, Anonymous Valley Family Forum said…

    What's wrong with gay bashing being the top priority for Valley Republicans.

  • At 11/22/2005 1:09 PM, Blogger valley iconoclast said…

    nothing is "wrong" with it. Heck, I'm against gay marriage. The question is when should it override other issues.

  • At 11/23/2005 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As usaual JLARC offers a good dose of reality to polticians and the citizens of the Commonwealth. I do hope it will not fall upon deaf ears.

    Would JLAC be a state level GOA in essense?


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