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Privatizing healthcare

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Brittany Jordan

Recently, every Republican in the House of Representatives voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, the bill that would help bridge the disparity between male and female paychecks, because they felt that it would “take away” from the argument on the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

I fail to see the connection between the two, but let it be known that Republicans are not forgetting Obamacare just because it is now in effect. This fight has just begun.

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Private versus public healthcare has been debated back and forth for years now. And, recently, it looked like public won when Obamacare was not only passed, but enacted. Minus the whole website shutdown fiasco, Dems across the board were hoping that this would work out for the benefit of the American people.

Support of Obamacare is now at 49 percent, which is an all-time high. However, numbers like this are a little premature — the public healthcare system has just taken effect, and surely there are people, mostly those that hadn’t had health insurance previously, who would support it. Think about it: if in the past you were unable to afford healthcare, and the Obama comes in with a red cape and offers to fix this, of course you would jump at the opportunity.

But, that, in and of itself, does not mean that it’s working.

People are enrolling. But, again, that doesn’t mean that it’s working. At last estimate, 6 million people have signed up, which is fine. The plan itself set up “success” at 7 million, but they’re close. The only problem? Twenty percent of the enrollees haven’t paid their premiums, which means that no, they are not insured. That means that there are 4.8 million people enrolled at best, which gets us even further away from the plan’s means of “success.”

And only an estimated 27 percent of those who enrolled were previously uninsured. The whole point of public healthcare is to get the uninsured with insurance that they can trust. But, if you had a project and only got a 27 percent on it, would you deem that a “success”?

The other thing to consider — people were promised that if they had insurance, and liked it, that they would be able to keep it. We were also promised that if we had a doctor that we liked, we would be able to continue seeing him or her. But Obama can say a lot of things — actually putting them into practice is an entirely different story.

Thousands of people have lost their insurance policies because they were deemed “substandard.” Many cannot afford the premiums of new plans and are now uninsured. This seems to be taking five steps backwards, but sure, Obama can come on record and tell us that “it’s working.”

I want to agree with public healthcare. Of course I don’t want people turned away because they don’t have insurance; everyone should have the right to be treated. I can understand the push for universal coverage; Europe and other countries have made it work, America is the one that seems to be left behind.

But, what I am about to say is something that a lot of people don’t seem to understand: we cannot afford this right now. When the national debt is in the trillions of dollars and growing by the day, now is not the time to pay for universal insurance.

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At the end of the day, it is my responsibility to pay for my health insurance. It is not my responsibility to pay for anyone else’s. I know that’s not a popular viewpoint, and I know that it can seem cold and callous. But at the end of the day, that is my only responsibility.

You can quantify success however you would like. But, from what I’ve seen out of public healthcare so far, I wouldn’t call it successful. It’s an attempt at getting everyone covered, but at the end of the day there are still plenty of people that cannot afford even Obamacare’s premiums and aren’t paying them.

So let’s tackle those who don’t have insurance offered through their jobs. Let’s look at the unemployment rate, and see what we can do to help those that had insurance when they were working full-time and now are not.

There are other things that we need to tackle first. But, right now, where our government is, public healthcare isn’t going to work. And that particular argument is far from over.

Brittany Jordan wants to fix other things first. Feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

In Brief:

Obamacare has not been successful.

We need to fix healthcare, but not right now.

Privatized healthcare is not the worst thing we have to contend with.

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