By Ray Ceo, Jr.
During the 2010 election, I remember driving around the streets of Tempe, a fairly liberal area in Arizona, and seeing giant signs with “Repeal Obamacare.” The Arizona Republican Party did a great job that year at making the mid-term election a mandate for President Obama. They won that election, taking some 65 seats, and sent a message: they want to take President Obama down. And above all else, they wanted to use his healthcare bill as the means to do so. Looking back on that election, I have to wonder what those folks are thinking now.
Especially about the Affordable Care Act. For the past two years, the Republican led House of Representatives has voted, more than two dozen times to repeal Obamacare. They are attempting to make it a wedge issue for this Presidential election. And President Obama has taken a huge beating for Obamacare. Politically, his approval rating on health care alone was at a mere forty-two percent just after it passed. While it’s overall approval has risen steadily since, the GOP has done all they can to get rid of this controversial bill. Including taking it all the way to the Supreme Court, where they lost. And then they voted, again, to repeal it. To no avail. Certainly, I think that the President has done a pretty good job in how he has handled healthcare. Yes, he cool demeanor helps. Not to mention that it was passed so long ago that now it seems like yesterday’s news. I believe he will weather this wedge issue well. However, I do not believe it was worth it. The President I voted for spoke to me of an America dream. One that I believed in. I wanted something similar to what Canada has. Call me a socialist, but something about not giving any member of our community the best care we can, for free, just doesn’t sit well with me. It shouldn’t be about money. It should be about living. It should be about compassion towards each other. I never get what I want though. Instead, I am left with a healthcare system that does nothing to help me, instead, it has risen premiums on all work-related insurances I could be on to exceed anything I can afford. Being a twenty-five year old guy shouldn’t be so expensive. I should not have to choose between groceries and health expenses. Having been in and out of the hospital several times, from illnesses to surgeries, I have endless medical debt. Yet still, I do not have health insurance and in just two years, if I still cannot afford health insurance, the government will fine me for it. This is not okay with me and above all else it certainly doesn’t help me. Nor does it help millions of other Americans in a similar position as I. There are elements in the Affordable Care Act that I do like. Providing women with access to better healthcare, including reproductive treatment is something the United States should be doing. Allowing students to stay on their parents health insurance while they are in college, is also something the United States should be doing. However, this so-called Obamacare does not help everyone. And it should. I have to wonder if a health care bill that doesn’t ensure that every member of our community is taken care of is worth it. Considering the backdrop of political hostility in Washington and the great debate over healthcare in our political dialogue, it doesn’t seem like it worth it. Maybe it was to the branding-genius Republicans who put up those Obamacare signs all over my college town. But here in the United States we can simply do better than Obamacare.
– 30 –