John Andrist: A Problem Which Defies a Solution


A still image from video shows U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who had been recuperating in Arizona after being diagnosed with brain cancer, speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate after returning to Washington for a vote on healthcare reform in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2017. SENATE TV/Handout via REUTERS

The score is even now. It’s a dead heat, and I think we are headed for overtime.

When the Affordable Care Act was enacted with practically no study, the Democrats were determined to ram it through. They didn’t really care what. Remember, Nancy Pelosi made her infamous comment: “We have to pass it to see what is in it?”

Now the Republicans have done the same thing. Determined to repeal “Obamacare” they tried twice to ram through a replacement. They didn’t care what. All they cared was getting it passed.

Is it too much to ask Congress to try the traditional route: propose, hold hearings, and vote?

There seems to be conventional wisdom that “Obamacare” is failing, too costly for the nation to afford. At the same time Americans have a comingled thirst for maintaining Medicaid, which is breaking the whole system.

Almost all of us have a dog in this fight, which seems to defy solution. And the beat goes on.

Let’s go to court

After North Dakota State University started moving into the big time with its football program, most fans thought they had arrived when they started knocking off some Big Ten teams.

Then the Big Ten decreed they would not permit members to play the Bison, or any other team that was a member of the FCS.

It’s my understanding that FCS is an acronym for Football Championship Series (or Subdivision).

In any event it is an NCAA subdivision, and the Big Ten ruling was a big disappointment, because a match between the Bison and Minnesota Gophers was a sure-fire guarantee that the stadium where they played would be full.

Now the Big Ten has indicated they may modify the rule.

I have always wondered why we let big sports (and little sports) operate outside of anti-trust jurisdiction.

Nobody else in our business world can short circuit competition. Why should the NCAA, NFL, even NDHSAA?

Rules of conduct are understandable. Health and safety are a no-brainer. But rules that are strictly non-competitive? In a business that is based on competition?

Something has to work

Speaking of courts and no brainers, a Minnesota Judge has ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton can’t abolish the state legislature by vetoing its budget, no matter how upset he is with that body. Duh?

What’s next? Well, the governor says he is going to appeal to the Supreme Court. Duh again.

Meanwhile, the legislature, if it would like to mimic Congress, could think about defunding the governor’s office. Or if the Supreme Court finds for the governor, the legislature could defund the judiciary.

They say one party rule ala North Dakota is bad, and they are probably right. But divided government willing to gerrymander its constitution is not working well in Minnesota.

When we the people decided to fire the politicians and take control, we ended up with King Trump.

All of which makes me wonder: is there any kind of government that works well and logically anymore?

If so, pray tell, why would some states ban plastic bags, but not plastic water bottles?

Why would New York City ban sugar sweetened sodas in 16-oz containers, but permit you to buy as many 12-ounce cups as you want?

If it is legal to require you to show an identification card to hunt, fish, drive, check out a library book, board an airplane, cash a check, or earn a living in your chosen occupation, why is it asking too much to require submission of an ID if you want to vote?

Could it be that governance is bad for our health? And could we require insurance companies to cover it?

Oops! That’s where this column started.