Smart people have wondered aloud, “was Obamacare setup to fail?” That’s an odd but thought provoking question. “If enough people’s health insurance are dropped, the only right and noble reform left is universal healthcare.” Some may say, that’s ridiculous, but to be fair, the writers of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) want universal or socialized medicine. Honestly, ACA is universal healthcare light.
A small minority of Republicans are attempting to defund the Affordable Care Act. President Obama has gone so far as to label the defunding as “extortion.” He claims that Americans had an opportunity to repeal the ACA by electing Romney. Since that didn’t happen, it’s time to let Obamacare pass as planned. If Republicans vote for a budget that defund’s it, Obama will be “forced” to veto the budget. This could end up causing the government to shutdown. Obama claims this will “tank” the economy. For the majority of uninformed Americans, the president’s warning seems legitimate. With a little research, you will learn without cataclysm there has been government shutdowns before. There is consensus that the ‘95 and ‘96 shutdowns didn’t tank the economy. Some say they even led to eventual reelection of President Clinton. (That doesn’t sound bad if you are a Democrat, right?) We survived the many shutdowns of the 80s as well. Obama’s purpose though is to scare the public into thinking this would be devastating.
On the other side, I wonder why house Republicans, specifically, the ultra-conservative tea party are digging in for presumably such a short term victory, if it even works. For all intents and purposes, Obamacare is not looking like the makings of successful healthcare reform. Many of the people the bill was intended to help are now seeing how its failing them. This is evidenced by the Obama administration again pushing back the implementation of the ACA for companies with 50 or more employees until after the 2014 midterm election. This is signaling that Democrats may believe if the ACA were to go into full effect as scheduled on January 1st the Democrats would be hurt in the fall elections. That doesn’t give much hope for this law.
Nevertheless many companies are still moving forward with new changes to their healthcare plans as if the January 1st deadline was still in effect. Consummate corporate good guys, Trader Joe’s, just announced that workers who work less than 30 hours will no longer qualify for healthcare benefits. Now, all is not lost. Workers losing healthcare from their employers can sign up for healthcare on the government exchange programs. I used to work for an agency helping people apply for federal and state benefits. So, if you are wondering how the exchanges will go, it could quite possibly the biggest hassle in the world. We regularly had to send people on wild goose chases for more documentation to prove their cases.
Well here’s the rub, the small tea party faction could force an unpopular government shutdown. This could potentially sour the American people away from a more moderate/right leaning president elected in 2016. Or they can let the Affordable Care Act ride out. If it does what everyone thinks, 2016 might be a good year for the right and a potential full repeal of the ACA. I think the upside of the latter makes it obvious.
Having said all this, it’s important to note that elected officials should be in the business of doing good for the people. If the ACA is really going to kill the economy the right thing to do is to repeal it. Because of blinders in Washington, that is not happening for at least 3 more years. For House Republicans the choice is between, a costly battle for a short term victory, or conceding now and hoping for a bigger victory down the road. What if a government shutdown will not hurt the economy? If the people are convinced that it will, then congress, who are elected by those people, should not flirt with it. American’s mainly only deal with first world problems; however, Americans are also some of the least happy people in the world. Why continue to add insult to injury with a government shutdown? Ultimately, by voting for ACA’s proponents, the majority of Americans said they wanted Obamacare. The ACA is the bed we made. We should have to deal with it. That’s life. Hopefully political gambles will not make the ACA overstay its welcome.
…Coming soon… A (conservative) defense of universal healthcare…
This picture seems kind of dramatic. Is it easy to look at senators as being the “rock stars” of the congress? It really shouldn’t be though. In the house, states can have more clout than others. The senate is where every state has equal representation. Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, wants to change the rules so that senate debate can be ended with a simple 51 vote majority. The rules have always been a 3/5ths majority.
Even then Senator Obama stated, “what [the American people] don’t expect, is for one party, be it Republican or Democrat, to change the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet…everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster—if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate—then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse.”(qtd in Heritage Morning Bell 1/4/13)
I have to agree with the president on this one. What do you think?
I will keep this brief, most of our readers are not interested in universal healthcare. Being a purveyor of business and its many facets, I realize that healthcare has a major effect on a companies balance sheet. Everyone knows that the line on their paychecks that says healthcare, is a tiny fraction of what their insurance provider is paid on the employee’s behalf. The employer pays the lions share. Employees learn this the hard way when they leave their jobs and look at their cobra benefit options. “No thank you” is the general response. If businesses can take healthcare off of their cash flow statements and balance sheets, that’s money the company can spend elsewhere, more precisely to its employees (CEO’s, as a business leader, that was directed toward your camps). Now, that expense does transfer to the government. Scary, we know. However, at this point, healthcare costs have grown out of control. This is largely because when people don’t pay for things out of pocket, they don’t care about costs. Insurance after all, operates with the hope that holders won’t use it. So who better to demand lower prices than the federal government? This isn’t to say, let’s just cut doctor and nurse pay. This also means, lets come back to earth and admit that medicine is a practice and end frivolous lawsuits. We can still hold providers accountable.
What about morality in healthcare? Christians too often turn a blind eye to sin by saying, “as long as our tax dollars don’t go to fund abortion, we’re good.” Unfortunately, abortion is a reality in this country and this world. We need to do more to come along side future moms and say “what can we do to spare your child?” Christians need to realize that just like we hate “our” liberties being infringed upon, those with opposing views feel the same way. Christians have been trying to force their morals through the law for awhile now. Is it a coincidence that so many Christians now ask, “how has our country declined so much?”
Maybe laws don’t change minds. We need a refreshing course change, honest conversation and relationships.
Declaration Now is diligently working in post production on a new show. It covers several topics one of which being the proliferation of drones abroad and here in American skies. One bright spot here in the Commonwealth, our state legislators recently approved a moratorium on Drones in Virginia. In the show we’ll be sharing some excerpts from an interview with director Oliver Stone on the moral gray areas of the patriot act and the disturbing progression of its uses. We also discuss some entertainment news, and an upcoming short film that DN is helping to produce. #beonthelookout