Column: Examine both sides of government shutdown
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 16:10
It seemed reasonable to shut down the government in order to defund the Affordable Care Act.
To people like Senator Ted Cruz, the act is a job-killing bill that denies individuals the right to choose their respective healthcare plans.
The short-term inconveniences of a government shutdown were a reasonable sacrifice in exchange for the long-term tyranny of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform.
Perhaps Cruz is right. The imposition of penalties on individuals who refuse to pay for a service might be unjustifiable in a nation that espouses personal responsibility.
But then I think of people like my father, who has recently been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes and no longer has health coverage.
My father lost his job in 2009, when construction in the oil industry in California came screeching to a halt.
He has since come back to work but is still currently uninsured because his employer is not required by law to provide insurance.
Diabetes is manageable, but in his case would also be a pre-existing condition, which, until the ACA, would have allowed insurance companies to deny him coverage.
Additionally, my father must face the random complications associated with diabetes and those that simply come with aging.
Two months ago, he developed a large kidney stone, and he had to pray that he would pass it because the surgery would have been incredibly expensive and would’ve put him behind on all of his bills.
Fortunately, he did not have to have the procedure.
People who oppose the ACA claim that everyone will wait until they are unhealthy to become insured. The system will dissolve into leeches sucking on a drained government corpse.
But the people that the ACA helps are people like my father, whose career and health are at the mercy of the national economy and the bills that Congress decides to pass.
My father, by the way, hates Obamacare. He can’t stand Obama and is one of the people who can’t wait to see him leave office.
Despite that hatred, his current employer will finally have to insure him, and the coverage can’t be denied because of his condition. His coverage won’t be perfect.
In fact, the limits of the ACA are something on which people on the right and left agree.
Obamacare does not fix the healthcare situation in our country.
But because of it, millions of hard working individuals, traditionally cast aside by chance and circumstance, will be able to sign up for healthcare.
Stewart Sinclair is an English writing senior and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org