I was talking to a conservative friend the other day when he went on a tirade against the President, and specifically The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). “What is it you dislike about Obamacare” I asked.
Knowing this gentleman receives Social Security and Medicare, I asked if he thought they were also socialism. The answer was “of course not”. Knowing that the man also has a kind heart, I asked if he thought poor people should have access to medical care. “Sure,” he replied.
“And do you think that people that are manipulating the system, and can afford to buy healthcare but refuse to do it and therefore drive up your rates should have to pay?”
“Absolutely,” he replied.
Actually my friend was in favor of Obamacare. He just didn’t know it.
Unfortunately I think the administration and the press have done a terrible job of explaining the details for the program, which has allowed those that oppose it to spread fiction and fear about Obamacare.
In a recent survey by The Kaiser Family Foundation – less than 50% of Americans understand Obamacare well enough to know if it even effects them.
So unfortunately, we are in the middle of an incredibly divisive political battle that threatens to shut down our government and tank the economy over an issue that less than half the country understands and would only impact 20%. And I suspect that like my friend, if most people actually understood it they would not oppose it.
I tend to be pretty optimistic about Americans. I think that most of them believe we should help those citizens that really need help – but also have a system that requires those that can afford it to pay their fair share. And that is really how Obamacare works.
I’m also embarrassed by how our politicians are portraying this country. Is blocking access to medical care for poor people really the most important issue we face? I don’t think so. Here is a short list of things I would place much higher on the list:
- Global warming. This week the world’s major scientists came out with an even more dire warning. We are on a collision course with the earth that will potentially alter the course of mankind. And if you vote entirely on economic issues… the expenses we already face due to floods, hurricanes, forest fires, and lost coastline dwarf any health care agenda. Care about your kids or grandkids – or even your future? You should be concerned and make sure your politicians know your concerns.
- American foreign military involvement. It is amazing to me that our politicians are eager to vote to spend billions of dollars to send weapons and soldiers to foreign countries, yet agonize over spending money to help our own population. Obamacare is an economic “pimple on the ass” of what we spent to invade Iraq, and continue to spend to maintain the world’s biggest military force. If we had a healthier, happier, better-educated population spreading good values we wouldn’t need to go abroad to kill people.
- Political corruption. As we speak, our politicians are being bought and sold by Wall Street, arms manufacturers, insurance companies, and various other lobbies. There are over 12,500 registered Lobbyists working in Washington today – all putting pressure on our elected officials to feed corporate coffers. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, corporations are not people, and we should be tremendously concerned that our government has been altered to value companies more than people.
- Income disparity. I’ve spent some time in areas of South America, where the gap between the rich and poor is especially extreme. Trust me – we don’t want that situation here. I would rather pay more taxes than have to spend my money on bodyguards, armor-plated cars, and fences for my property. A thriving middle class is good for business, and good for the country.
- Privacy issues. It is amazing to me that so many people feel so strongly about keeping their guns, but seem to care very little about maintaining their privacy. A government that taps your phone and internet and surrounds you with spy drones is a bigger threat than a government that won’t allow you to own an assault rifle.
- Education and quality of life. We are quickly becoming a very mediocre country when it comes to these two issues. Our future depends on having a smart, healthy, motivated population that keeps progressing.
So, we need to get educated on the issues, take back control of our government from the Lobbyists, and tell the people that work for us in Washington what the real priorities are.
And in case you want to start with a little education on Obamacare – here is a simple six minute video that does a good job of explaining how it works:
Also, here is an article on “fact and fiction” on the act that might clear up some misconceptions: