Archive for July, 2013

Constituent Service

There have been a couple of stories recently about how Republicans are essentially telling people not to take advantage of the benefits of Obamacare, i.e. signing up for subsidized health insurance on the new health exchanges. It’s one thing for radio hosts to peddle this story (and how nice is it to see Twila Brase again!), but what is more concerning is the story about elected officials turning their backs on their constituents.

This hits close to home for me because once upon a time, it was my job to do constituent services for elected officials. When people called or wrote or emailed with a problem, I helped them navigate the bureaucracy to a (hopefully) satisfactory resolution. Of course, I couldn’t fix all problems, and sometimes I wasn’t able to help out people as much as they wanted, but I always tried. And I certainly didn’t ask about their political beliefs or determine my service based on my own. Elected officials represent everybody in their districts, no matter who their constituents voted for, and it is their duty to carry out that responsibility. If that meant that I had to help them navigate county ditch permits, well, that’s what I had to do.

Look, I understand that a lot of people in Congress don’t like the health care law (I don’t particularly like its implementation, but for other reasons…). However, I’d find it hard to believe that all of these people who oppose the ACA would similarly refuse to help their constituents with Medicare or tax issues. The law will be able to help a lot of people in a real way: people with pre-existing conditions, people who don’t otherwise have access to affordable care, people who have worried about lifetime limits on benefits. To refuse to help constituents take advantage of these benefits is pretty low.

Hedge Fund Blues

Businessweek has put out a quite memorable story on the decline of hedge funds. The story, and a very good response, are worth a read. Even if you don’t pay much attention to that sector of finance a whole lot.

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