Everyone needs access to good, affordable healthcare. This year we will see more of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) come into effect and start to address this need. An interesting story for a local newspaper might be to illuminate how people in our area get access to healthcare: Who has what kind of insurance, how much it costs and who is actually paying for it. I often wonder when I hear someone adamantly opposing Obamacare how they are getting their healthcare. There’s Medicaid for the poor, there’s Medicare for older Americans who reach the magic age, there’s healthcare for veterans and there’s healthcare for anyone working for any of the various governments- municipal, state and federal. Then there’s healthcare provided by many employers some private and some public (like the PUD and the hospitals). Some plans are good and some are not so good. Obamacare looks to provide healthcare to tens of millions of Americans who don’t happen to fi t into one of these “in” groups. This includes substitute teachers in our schools, woods workers, small business owners, retail clerks, students, laid off workers, construction workers, workers in probationary periods of work, farmers and farm workers.
There are going to be problems with Obamacare. However, it does provide a framework for hard-working Americans to get access to affordable healthcare, and it requires them to pay at least something for this benefit. Obamacare addresses the need for fairness in the system, something Americans have fought for throughout our nation’s history. Parts of the new law that don’t work or need to be changed should be changed, but we as a people ought to try to make it work. Everyone needs access to affordable healthcare.
The mantra of the Republican Party has been “repeal and replace.” Well, replace with what? I contacted my congresswoman for months and was told that the replacement legislation was being worked on. I never saw anything, and I wondered if they were really working on something at all. I am all for improvements, but you gotta have something; you can’t just wish you had something.