What’s Obamacare, and What’s Happening with our Government? A (relatively opinionated, but still informative) Opinion Article

By: Joshua R.

Did you know that 42%of the US population is either uncertain or completely ignorant on what Obamacare/the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is/does? Do you want to be one of them?

• 3/23/10: ACA was signed by Obama

• 6/28/12: Chief Justice Roberts
upheld ACA

• Most provisions of the ACA will be enacted by 2020

• ACA legislation ensures:

• The increase of accessibility and affordability for US citizens who do not have healthcare

• Generally lower health care cost

• A lower uninsured rate by expanding insurance coverage

• No more denials by insurance providers for coverage of people with:

• pre-existing conditions

• a desire to obtain birth control

• Companies which employ 50 or more employees will be forced to pay health care benefits or pay a fine (“employer mandate”)

• Medicaid will become more widely available

     The Affordable Care Act (ACA) sounds like an ideal solution to America’s broken healthcare system, right? Yet, unless one is a progressive democrat one generally seems to despise “Obamacare”! This health care coverage seems ideal, so why is there so much controversy over a law that originated from former governor Mitt Romney’s incredibly successful healthcare plan (“Romneycare”) in Massachusetts? I don’t know, but perhaps it has something to do with the lies behind it. You all have probably heard of or perhaps even participated in the name-calling and paranoia directed towards our president, and everything he supports, i.e., “Obama’s a … (Nazi, Socialist, Communist, Soviet, Fascist, Nazi, Darth Vader, international terrorist, illegal immigrant–any or all of the above, etc.)”; or maybe the nonexistent “Death Panels”, a notoriously false scandal designed to kill your beloved grandparents. Finally, one of the most popular lies is that it will kill “secret” jobs that nobody can identify; in fact, many professionals and political scientists claim that it will create jobs. One may wonder why the ACA matters, and to respond I will talk about the government shutdown.

     On October 1, 2013 our government met to discuss and hopefully come up with a plan to deal with our financial situation. Instead of a plan, we got right-wing Tea-Partyists refusing to move forward, because they wouldn’t accept defeat after 41 prior failed attempts to either de-fund or repeal the ACA. The congressional GOP rallied behind Republican Senator Ted Cruz who refused to speak about the budget until Obama somehow gained unobtainable powers, overruled his entire party, and subsequently repealed the ACA. So: this entirely avoidable debacle led to the first shutdown of the US government since the government closed about 17 years ago under Clinton. The nation lost over $100k in that crisis. Two-and-a-half weeks later, our stand-still was over. On October 16, 2013 the GOP decided to negotiate. Despite this breakthrough, the price of the shutdown is still being tallied up. The interesting part of all this is that the dreaded ACA didn’t help the expected hundreds of people; rather, the ACA helped millions of uninsured Americans. The ACA website server was swiftly overrun, and the GOP has responded by ironically blaming Obama. The irony comes from the fact that if the GOP hadn’t shut down the government, then the government-employed computer wizards would have been able to work on the site. Instead, the people who might have fixed the problem were sent home, employment listings in one hand, and a laptop in the other. Now the GOP will happily blame Obama for not being able to fix the “internets” (former president George W. Bush attempting to say ‘the internet’), when in reality it is not in any way his fault.

     I feel that it is in our nation’s best interest to put our vendettas and agendas aside. The Republicans are stubborn, unswerving, and close-minded. They won’t consider anything that they don’t want to hear. On the contrary, the Democrats are spineless, weak, and bipartisan to the point that they are resorting to asking the GOP to pass their own legislation. We will never reach our full potential if we continue to elect those who cannot put their home, their countrymen, and their nation before oneself and subsequently, one’s wallet. I believe our nation deserves something better than our current “House of Self-Representatives”! I don’t mean to preach to you, or tell you what to believe, but is it too much to ask for our congress to consider the needs of the people that they were elected to represent?

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