Well, we successfully avoided default. The bill to end the government shutdown was passed by both the Senate and the House in an 11th hour attempt to salvage the mess that they had made of the whole funding debacle, and now everyone is hoping that we can just move on and hope this doesn’t happen again.
What everyone seems to be forgetting is that the fight over the Affordable Care Act, which was used as the bargaining chip in order for Republicans to make a point, is far from over. That particular fight has just begun.
I will concede that the Republican party has made a laughing stock of themselves, acting like toddlers holding their breath in order to get their way. However, just because the Affordable Care Act was passed and is being put in place does not mean that those opposed to it have to roll over and play dead, sitting by while a program that they are adamantly opposed to affects the Americans that they were elected to represent.
USA today conducted a Gallup poll recently to answer the question, “Who really likes Obamacare?” As it turns out, 75 percent of Americans found the individual mandate, the piece that requires every individual citizen to acquire health coverage at any and all costs, is unconstitutional. Surprisingly, the majority of Democrats (56 percent) also found the individual mandate, arguably the heart and soul of the entire healthcare reform, unconstitutional.
So yes, the conversation about the Affordable Care Act needs to continue. Let’s take a look at Prohibition or the Defense of Marriage Act: those statutes were passed legally and put into place, and yet the conversation continued because people weren’t happy about it. Because of people actually standing up for what they believe in, unconstitutionality was determined or repeals were put in place.
So let’s investigate why the Affordable Care Act is not the answer to all of the problems in healthcare. First of all, the act ensures that those with pre-existing conditions cannot be turned away, something that was previously unheard of. However, Obamacare just mandates that every individual has to have some kind of health coverage, but this is just used as a balancing act.
The way that it was defended by the Obama administration to the Supreme Court, the amount of healthy people that are now being forced to sign up for coverage will hopefully be enough to cover the expenses of the sick people that the government now has to pay for.
As of the first of the year, Americans will be forced to get health coverage, whether that be through employers, Medicare, Medicaid or private insurers. However, Obamacare has no mandates on the premiums that you can be assigned, ensuring that if you do have a pre-existing condition, you will still have to pay out the nose. If the premiums are still too high, you’d better find a way to cover it, or you will be penalized.
The law contains at least 20 new taxes totaling $500 billion that will hit medical innovators and health insurance premiums.
The Kaiser Family Foundation says the average price of a family policy has risen by $2,200 during the Obama administration. The president promised premiums would be $2,500 lower by this year — looks like he’s off to a fabulous start.
Unlike Medicare, physicians have no choice but to treat those with coverage under the Affordable Care Act, regardless of the exceedingly low reimbursement that they will promised. Because the government cannot pay the physicians what private insurers can, you can ensure that the quality of care that those with a cut-rate policy will receive will be less than stellar. Like the old adage says: you get what you pay for.
Because of these reasons and more, there are plenty of people that are less than happy with the ACA. And because of this, those opposed to it should still be allowed to voice those opinions, hoping for some kind of change. Just because it passed through the House, Senate and President doesn’t mean that the debate is over.
So no, the Republicans will not shut up and let it go. They don’t want the ACA to negatively impact those that they represent. If representatives and senators are exempt from this plan, it says something about the quality, no?
I, for one, am grateful that the Republican Party isn’t turning a blind eye to the kind of damage that the ACA can do to employers, the medical community, even the average American. I am grateful that they will not let it rest until the Affordable Care Act is repealed, because this is not the plan that houses all the answers to the healthcare problems.
Brittany Jordan is a junior psychology major. Feedback of all varieties can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.