Regarding the government shutdown
The Republican Party is rightfully concerned with the efficacy, fairness and practicability of the Affordable Care Act. Contrary to reports by popular news, the Republican Party does not own the shutdown. Such action takes two parts, two chambers of Congress. The Republican Party only controls one.
Sadly, the public will not hear the media report that after the shutdown occurred, a Democratic House representative urged her colleagues to not vote in favor of a Republican proposal to end the shutdown at that moment. Approximately 20 minutes later, Republicans made clear that they wished to keep the government open during negotiations, but Democrats did not respond. In fact, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated earlier that day that he would “not go to conference with a gun to [his] head!” Around 10 p.m. Republicans voted to end the shutdown. The Senate has yet to respond.
And, while many point to the Tea Party as a radical, extremist wing, we urge people to reconsider the image that has been carefully constructed from sound bites in the media. Not all Tea Party protestors on the streets are fully representative of the Republican Party. Yet, what the Tea Party and Congressional Republicans have in common is a well-founded concern about the direction of the largesse of our government.
This is not the first time the public hears about this complaint. In this case, it refers to the fact that Obamacare is indeed bad public policy. The Wall Street Journal has adequately chronicled a series of objective analyses of the overhaul. In it, we find that: It is more expensive for low-wage earners to enroll than to pay the penalty, as their costs are projected to double or triple; that small businesses cannot afford to hire, provide overtime or even keep a normal work week; very few insurance companies are able to participate in each state and there are insufficient economic incentives for the young to enroll to be able to offset the cost for older enrollees.
In what spanned a 1,000-page, unread document passed by reconciliation vote (a rule that made it possible to pass without any Republican votes), the President did not realize that the solution could have been made through much simpler means. True, market-based solutions could have been achieved by allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, ending pre-existing condition discrimination and increased use of health savings accounts. HSAs actually allow individuals to save money and borrow from it when needed for future medical expenses.
This law is not an American solution. It is neither a worldly solution, for it does not necessarily operate better than existing nationalized health care plans in other nations. It is a form of price fixation; it tells insurance companies that when insuring an increased number of people, they may only account for a limited number of variables. An entry-level economics course will tell us that does not make us better off. It increases premiums and unfairly ties the financial ability to hedge risks. It does not even incentivize preventive measures for a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle to lower burden on the new system. It is only a bandage fix.
The truth of the matter is that no side is officially cheering for a government shutdown. If fringe protestors on either side do, it is their First Amendment right. It is time to recognize, however, that conscious efforts have been made to keep the government open. Conscious efforts have been made to communicate how Obamacare is bad policy. There are options to improve health care for Americans, and the free market can offer it. The question and opportunity lies in whether or not we are willing to place emotional appeals aside, look at economic and financial data and begin crafting solutions that incentivize healthier lifestyles and promote competition among insurance companies.
Sophomore, business administration