Bader: Obamacare is here to help


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It is important to debate important issues like the Affordable Care Act, but our government’s main mission gets lost in the buzz when media focus too much on small portions or supposed effects of the law.

Anthony Bader

Ever since the signing of the Affordable Care Act [ACA], attempts to discredit the piece of legislation have occurred almost nonstop. One of the first attempts denounced the supposed creation of death panels that would be killing everyone’s grandma. It continued with the idea that scores of businesses would close down because the ACA would raise their operating costs too high.

The prevailing problem here is that the media and public are focusing on the wrong thing. The ACA was enacted to provide healthcare to those who cannot afford it, to reform how insurance companies are required to cover people, and to provide an insurance option not tied to an employer. The goal is to provide assistance to millions of struggling Americans.

Yet, instead of focusing on the core of the ACA, the media seems to grab onto the claims about the law that are most controversial. In turn, the public debates these unreasonable side arguments associated with the ACA rather than addressing its main goal. It is important to debate important issues fully, but our government’s main mission gets lost in the buzz when media focus too much on small portions or supposed effects of the law.

The newest controversy surrounding the ACA came recently after the Congressional Budget Office released a report stating that “The reduction in [the Congressional Budget Office]’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.”

Unfortunately, many newspapers and TV news shows reported this statement in a way that implied ACA would eliminate two million jobs and therefore increase unemployment. Thankfully, these same media outlets admitted their mistake days after. Major news outlets will definitely continue to focus on whatever causes the most controversy, but it is important for us as viewers and constituents to remember what is most important about the new health care law.

What the ACA tries to do is improve the lives of millions of Americans. We may disagree on what the best policy is with which to do that, but we cannot lose sight of that goal. The ACA made first steps toward this goal by eliminating lifetime caps on insurance benefits and not allowing insurance companies to deny coverage because of preexisting conditions. It also provides an affordable option of healthcare to those who struggle to pay for it or do not have insurance at all because they work part-time jobs.

Despite the need to provide assistance to fellow Americans, many people will still choose to focus on the supposed disastrous economic impact of the ACA. No one is claiming that everyone will be affected equally, but it is difficult to argue that the overall impact of the ACA will not be positive.

The point of the ACA is not to save us money, though, it is to provide millions of Americans with affordable and flexible health care. The media and American public can argue all day about tax increases, job losses and economic downturn, but the point is still to help living, breathing people. If you are a staunch opponent of government-subsidized health care, that is fine. However, the problems presented by having millions of uninsured Americans are still very real. There would need to be a definite, concrete alternative to the ACA if our government were to suddenly scrap it, as so many have called for.

For now, the ACA has withstood dozens of republican attacks and a Supreme Court ruling, so it seems as though it is here to stay. The ACA is not perfect, but it is a good first effort to provide equal access to healthcare to all of our nation’s citizens.