A Curious Bystander

Megan Chrisler, Staff Writer

An even bigger problem than the website failures regarding the Affordable Care Act is the failure of President Barack Obama to keep his promise that Americans can keep their existing health care coverage if they want to.

People all over the country have been getting notices from their insurance companies stating that their policies can no longer be covered; many of these individuals had to switch to more inconvenient, expensive plans.

To be fair, many are also benefitting from the new health care law. These are mainly lower middle class to poor people because the only way to get cheaper coverage through the health care website, is to have little to no money. This is the whole point of the law; it caters to the underprivileged, making the Affordable Care Act, in essence, a welfare program.

It’s all nice and dandy to help the poor, but it is at the expense of wealthier people who are not eligible for subsidies and who, based on the law’s new regulations, will be charged more for insurance. Their money will go into the pool and make up for what the others don’t pay.

This, and many other things of course, grinds the gears of Republicans. It goes back to Obama’s views on taxes: the rich should pay their “fair share.” The wealthy can afford to spend almost $1,000 a month on health care insurance, so what’s the big deal if they have to, especially if the result is innocent citizens getting better coverage?

One problem with this is that it is not just the wealthy that are paying the full amount for coverage. The cut-off for subsidy eligibility is about in the center of the middle class, which means that people who don’t have as much money are paying wealthy prices (and Obama said he would help the middle class).

The other problem is that this is based on an assumption that it is okay for one person to essentially pay for another person’s health care insurance, which is against the standard definition of American individualism.

It’s appropriate to bring up another promise that Obama did not keep; he was not supposed to create a new tax on the American people. However, the Supreme Court deemed the penalty for not having health care insurance as a tax because it goes through Congress, which has the power to levy taxes. If Obama has kept his promise and the penalty is actually a legitimate fine, then the law can be deemed unconstitutional.

Is this too harsh? I mean, Obama is not the first and won’t be the last politician to break a promise — it’s practically a requirement of office. The guy trusted his advisors, which one must have for such a huge responsibility like being president, and they made him look like a villain.
You can’t blame the President for the flaws of his brain trust, right?

This is true, but Obama is supposed to be a leader. This means that he knows most of what’s going on without being told (he helped create the law, after all), and that he admits when he’s wrong. Of course, that can be political suicide, but if the public is going to tear someone apart for not being perfect, then it’s no wonder that they’re always disappointed.

In the least, Democrats need to figure out a way to keep the old policies going if they want an easy election year; Republicans have already put health care in their campaign ads as much as Democrats have put the government shutdown in theirs. But I have to wonder; do Americans really care anymore which party wins?