As the United States prepares for the ultimate showdown on “Obamacare” this October, amidst the Sequester cuts which are dramatically in effect, and given the national debate which remains largely convoluted and partisan on the issue, let me explain why Obamacare translates into sound economics and a better society.
Ezekiel Emmanuel, a former healthcare adviser to President Obama, expresses his anxiety in the Wall Street Journal
” On Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges will go live online. Millions of Americans will suddenly be able to log on to a website and choose their own heath-care coverage from a menu of subsidized options for prices and coverage levels. As the opening day gets closer, anxiety is increasing over how well these online exchanges will function.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia are operating their own exchanges, seven states are operating exchanges in partnership with the federal government, and the federal government is running exchanges for the remaining 26 states that opted not to create their own. All are rushing to ensure that their systems get up and running on time, and nobody is forecasting a glitch-free roll out, not even the president. Transforming the U.S. health-care system—which is larger than the economy of France—is one of the most daunting administrative tasks government has ever confronted. There will be bumps in the road; this is inevitable.”
What Is Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) And Why It’s The Right Step For America?
Obamacare is political reform specifically targeting our nation’s exorbitant cost of healthcare (18 cents to every dollar), where more than 45 million Americans can’t afford healthcare presently; and the middle-class and lower-middle class families who do have healthcare, remain inextricably vulnerable to losing their life’s savings with the slightest of health complications (referring to the practice where hospitals can serve you an egregious bill with every chance).
So far, Obamacare has already prevented health insurance providers from denying coverage for folks with pre-existing conditions, and has legally mandated insurance companies and employers to cover children under the age of 26 under their parent’s healthcare plans. (Personally, I think it’s a great move, given the rising costs of higher education, the GOP’s re-surging push to double student interest rates from 3. 4 to 6.8 percent in Congress, and the tough job market recent graduates like myself face).
Dispelling The Myths On Obamacare
Yes, Obamacare is long and complex (more than 2000 pages), but that isn’t the President’s bidding, as most of the conservative and independent base is led to believe by the critics of the healthcare bill. Instead powerful interests like companies, insurers, and doctors, who have an economic incentive to keep in place the soaring rates of healthcare, make it so. It’s a phenomenon I like to call “economics with a super-sized spoon of crony capitalism;” the construct which dominates policy making in Washington.
I highly recommend the PBS Frontline Documentary: Obama’s Deal, to develop an in-depth perspective on the nasty politics that ensued for this bill to become a reality (and keep in mind this was when the Democrats had a majority in both Houses of Congress); and in addition, the New York Times Debate panel precisely tackles a question which is bearing on everyone’s mind – “Is Obamacare Too Complicated To Succeed?”
Additionally, much to the nation’s amusement and the relentless agenda of the GOP in preserving the status quo, it has attempted to repeal Obamacare a record 37 times in the U.S. House of Representatives, while desperately attempting to tie the recent IRS malfeasance to Obamacare, or any other begetting issue, as the party’s motives lie solely on politicizing and manipulating Obamacare in its crucial stages of execution.
Thus, I forewarn all rational minds that believe the United States (the world’s most powerful economy and democracy) can reform its healthcare system like Canada, Australia or England, to remain extra vigilant in distinguishing the facts from conservative propaganda.
And Finally Addressing The Crux Of America’s Politics – Is Obamacare Good For Our Economy?
Rebounding from the worst financial recession in 2007 since the Great Depression, where millions of Americans lost both their homes and their retirement savings, it’s obvious Americans are overwhelmingly concerned with fixing the economy, and I include myself in this bracket.
More often than not, the conventional wisdom of “Supply-Side” economics (enormous tax-breaks for the rich, an unfettered free-market enforced with unregulated capitalism, while completely shrugging government fiscal programs like welfare spending) continues to dominate legislation on Capitol Hill, despite it being the reason for our current predicament.
When will politicians realize that fixing our economy isn’t strictly a tax-code versus entitlements debate, instead its a systemic one, where a government elected by a conscientious and educated society recognizes the importance of investment in education, infrastructure, science, and the most fundamental basic economic resource of all, fair healthcare options for all its workforce?
In addition, Fareed Zakaria in Foreign Affairs highlights my position on the need for free-market enterprise with certain governmental oversight to ensure fair play, in response to Edward Conrad, who argues for lesser regulations and decreased Federal spending to fix America’s economy. (Remember Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush – the culprits responsible for destroying the middle class and robbing folks of the American dream – and how they implemented policies akin to Edward Conrad’s economic ideology?)
Finally, Obamacare has its drawbacks like any other federal program – and specifically in the realm of healthcare which is highly politicized due to the magnitude of intended reform and numerous failed attempts in the past – a few of which includes the younger generation footing a higher premium to balance additional care needed by elder citizens in the initial stages, as well as running the risk of turning our healthcare system into a bureaucratic and inefficient process, or the cost of Obamacare and the recent headlines on “rate shock,” which Ezra Klein for the WonkBlog clearly outlines.
Is Obamacare, a great experiment like New Yorker Staff Writer John Cassidy argues or is America on the verge of making political history?