In yet the latest chapter in the ever-evolving Affordable Care Act saga, the federal government has shut down. Neither Republicans nor Democrats would refute that health care is a complicated issue nor that there is no straightforward solution. There is no easy way to solve it in a way that makes everyone happy. Admittedly, I have not had the time to read the entire 11,588,500 word Affordable Care Act (and I would be willing to bet that our own congressman, Bruce Braley, still hasn’t even read the whole thing even after his debate with then Republican nominee Ben Lange), but I don’t think that places me in the minority of American citizens. My overall opinion of the Affordable Care Act, according to the Huffington Post, places me in the majority of American citizens.
In a recent poll done by Huffington Post, 29 percent of those polled were in favor of “Obamacare,” 46 percent were against, and 12 percent were unaware of what that was. On the flip side, when asked about the “Affordable Care Act,” 22 percent supported the initiative, 37 percent were opposed to it, and 30 percent were unaware of what that was. To clarify any confusion, Obamacare and the Affordable Health Care Act are indeed the exact same thing. Regardless of the terminology used, the poll made it very evident that the majority of Americans are not in favor of this bill, myself included.
In the midst of recent political tensions, many people are left asking the same question as before: “What is the big stink about Obamacare?” Even though the bill promises to decrease the number of uninsured Americans and reduce the total cost of health care, there are many unintended consequences that come as a result of the poorly constructed bill. Instead of helping Americans, it will harm them in the grand scheme of things. Millions of Americans, primarily young people like you and me, will see exponential increases in their monthly premiums due to the exorbitant costs that the bill will incur. Among other things, the bill also discourages growth of business by penalizing companies who employ over 50 workers through excessive health insurance fees. The list of negatives is not just limited to these reasons, but goes on and on endlessly.
Ted Cruz (R-TX), a freshman senator, had this to say about the shutdown and Obamacare as a whole: “The American people expect their government to function — and we can ensure that right now. We can fund our essential priorities and commit to paying our debt first, even while opposing Obamacare. The people want jobs and strong economic growth back, and Obamacare is a major impediment to both. As long as we keep listening to the people and fighting for jobs and prosperity.”
I would agree with the senator in saying that we have a huge looming national debt that is currently out of control, and I believe that getting the debt under control should be priority number one. Even Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), when he campaigned on campus last year, said that “we need to quit kicking the can down the road and fix this immediately.”
Essentially my opinion is that we as a nation need to worry about controlling the national debt and let the topic of health care remain a state issue.
Recently, Obamacare added another victim — the U.S. government. Much of the blame for the shutdown can be attributed to the debate over Obamacare. Budgets have been passed in the House of Representatives that excluded Obamacare, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refuses to allow any such bill to make its way to the Senate floor to be voted on. When the House reached out to negotiate with the Senate, they were stiff armed and told that no budget will be passed without the inclusion of Obamacare. The shutdown can be attributed due to the lack of negotiation over a bill that more Americans oppose than support.
It is no secret as to why the government shut down, and it is no secret as to what will bring it back. It’s your choice to believe me or not — as I’m just another frantic member of the conservative movement who wants the government to go back to work. The current trajectory that the Affordable Care Act has our nation on is unsustainable. It is unimaginable what will happen when it fully goes into action. #DefundObamacare