Sorry, But A Full Repeal Of ACA Is Not Necessary
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Politics and Activism

Sorry, But A Full Repeal Of ACA Is Not Necessary

"Those who are sick will suffer, and some of them will die. This is a shame and a disgrace. May God have mercy on us all." – Congressman John Lewis

Sorry, But A Full Repeal Of ACA Is Not Necessary

'Do unto others as you would have done unto you' seems a fanciful phrase nowadays, doesn't it?

It is a sad day when any country deliberately chooses to alienate their sick, their poor and their vulnerable, but it is far more reprehensible when those more fortunate celebrate such a decision.

An Odyssey article was published in the wake of the House passing legislation that will "repeal and replace" integral parts of the Affordable Care Act — or the ACA, widely known as Obamacare — a promise which President Donald Trump made countless times before and after his inauguration.

The House Republicans have been met with some resistance regarding their bill, what with nonexistent support from House Democrats and the Senate insistent upon drafting an entirely new bill from scratch — though these only buy the country so much time.

It seems, however, that there is plenty of time for our fellow citizens to reveal their true colors, starting with "Why Full Repeal Of The ACA Is Necessary."

Those in favor of this piece of legislation would insist that its existence is justified based upon the "general welfare" clause and the principles of "life", and "the pursuit of happiness", touting that healthcare is a "human right", giving the government jurisdiction over its dominion, substance, and legal obligations. On the surface, this proposal appears good-natured and logical but is, indeed, highly fallacious.

Though the author fails to specify exactly which piece of legislation calls for the good health and well-being of this 'great' nation's citizens to be considered a human right, I can only assume he is referring to the ACA, as he spends a great deal of time in the rest of his article explaining all the ways in which it supposedly hasn't worked rather than all the ways it has.

No, the ACA is not perfect. In fact, I have yet to meet one person who supports it that genuinely believes it is. But decreased overall healthcare costs are nothing to scoff at. Requiring insurance companies to cover treatment for mental health, chronic diseases and addiction? Prohibiting companies from raising premiums or dropping customers altogether when they get sick? Insuring upwards of three million previously uninsured young people? Giving the middle class tax credits on their premiums? Working to lower the federal deficit by billions by 2020?

I understand mentioning these facts don't make for the steadiest opposing argument, but imagine if those who would rather repeal the ACA were more concerned with bettering it than who drafted it in the first place and trying to eliminate it on that basis.

Universal healthcare should be a human right.

Everyone should have a fighting chance to get well again regardless of their socioeconomic status. You said it yourself: it's only logical.

Fallacious? I invite anyone to read these words aloud to a crowd of faces who Obamacare has helped get back on their feet again. Tell them that maintaining their health is not within their basic human rights.

Tell them that seeking out insurance and medical treatment for their children's health does not follow with the definition of "the pursuit of happiness" — which is the "fundamental right to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy, as long as you don't do anything illegal or violate the rights of others".

Tell them that as per your words, their happiness at seeing their children happy and healthy is invalid.

Tell them their family's healthcare violates your rights because your taxes rose slightly to accommodate their healthcare.

Tell them they can pursue happiness, but if they fall ill, that isn't your problem — they had their chance, didn't they?

Patriotism, no?

Be cautious when something is dubbed a "human right", because the term is quite flexible. What is a human right? If healthcare is a human right, is plumbing? Is running water? Is electricity? Is TV? Are video games? A human right to one man may not be deemed a human right to another, and all experience shows that when government becomes the provider of a flexible, specific "need", dire consequences follow.

The definition of a human right, according to the United Nations, is "a right inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any status." They are "based on the principle of respect for the individual."

Both were easy Google searches.

Sanitation is, in fact, a human right, as well as clean drinking water (i.e., running water) — as per the recognition of the UN General Assembly in 2010. Access to energy is also, for the most part, considered a basic right, though not in any official capacity — therefore no, television and video games are not human rights.

All experience? Are we sure? Here's an article detailing the free healthcare that Canadians enjoy — while also comparing it to our own healthcare system and imagining an America in which its citizens enjoyed the same benefits. There are even cons included for the pessimist in you.

The problem with the author's long-winded reference to Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" initiative is the author essentially invalidated his own argument by pointing out the definition of poverty has continually adapted to the times. As definitions shift, of course the numbers will as well. However, the definition of health and wellness generally remains the same, wouldn't you say?

Millions of Americans lost the coverage they once held, because of inflated insurance costs, due to the absolute shock that the ACA rippled to the economy. The creation of government insurance overflowed the system with demand that could not be filled, resulting in many Americans having to downgrade their insurance plans and losing their doctors, all while paying more for their medical expenses. Also, the federal government now reserved the right to tax those who chose not to purchase medical insurance.

This is unfortunately true. Like I said before, the ACA is not a perfect plan. The prices rose for the short-term in order to accommodate said ripple. Some of the promises President Obama made, he was not able to follow through on. That is the reality of it. He vowed everyone would have access to healthcare (according to CNN though, as of 2016 only 28 million people were uninsured, actually a historic low) and that those already insured could keep their insurance (the reason they couldn't was mainly due to insurance companies themselves cancelling plans that didn't offer treatment for mental health, chronic diseases, etc. in the first place).

And yet President Trump promises the same.

His plans, however, will end Medicaid expansions that Obama attempted to jump start in his plan —though in doing so, Trump's American Health Care Act will also offer a nice-sized tax cut for the wealthy. The supposed "pain" and "burden" will essentially just transfer itself from high- and middle-income taxpayers to low-income ones, effectively costing millions in need their healthcare access.

Another shock wave is bound to ripple similarly through the economy if the AHCA makes it through the Senate and pulls off this huge upheaval, though you might be able to infer who will be drawing the "short stick" this time around.

Take the economics out of the equation and you have a moral dilemma. Why should the market's arm be twisted into providing coverage? Should electric companies provide everyone with service? Should gas companies? Should convenience stores? Where is the line drawn? Saying that the market (doctors, providers, etc.) is obligated to provide free or "low cost" services, at the government's discretion, is almost the definition of slavery. People are then working out of fear instead of for profit.

You are correct: we do have a moral dilemma. You are asking, 'why should the people with lined pockets have to lend any of it out to those who are struggling?' Do doctors only become doctors for the salary? Not for the sake of medical advancements, not to care for those in need? 'Why shouldn't we receive free gas and electricity?' As if that is anywhere near the equivalent of a human being's health?

And "the definition of slavery" — I don't think I'm going to touch that one today.

But under the new "Trumpcare," the following would be considered pre-existing conditions and therefore not covered by your medical insurance (alternatively hiking up your insurance costs): HIV/AIDS/ARC, acid reflux, acne, acromegaly, ADD/ADHD, addiction, Alzheimer's/dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anemia (aplastic, Cooley's, hemolytic, Mediterranean, sickle cell), aneurysms, angioplasty, anorexia, anxiety, aortic/mitral valve stenosis, arrhythmia/pacemakers, arterioscolerosis, arthritis, atrial fibrillation, asbestosis, asthma, autism, bariatric surgery, basal cell carcinoma, bipolar disorder, blood clots, breast cancer, bulimia, bypass surgery, cardiomyopathy, celiac disease, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral embolism, cerebral palsy, cerebral thrombosis, cervical cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, colon cancer, colon polyps, congestive heart failure, coagulation defects, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, demyelinating disease, dermatomyositis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), depression, diabetes, dialysis, domestic violence, Down syndrome, enlarged prostate, epilepsy, esophageal varicosities, Friedreich's ataxia, glaucoma, gout, heart disease, heart murmurs, heartburn, hemophilia, hepatitis B/C/chronic, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hysterectomy, kidney disease, kidney stones, kidney transplant, leukemia, lung cancer, lupus, lymphoma, menstrual irregularities, migraines, multiple sclerosis (MS), muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, narcolepsy, nasal polyps, obesity, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), organ transplants, osteoporosis, panic disorder, paralysis, paraplegia, Parkinson's disease, polycythemia vera, pregnancy, psoriatic arthritis, pulmonary fibrosis, rape, renal failure, restless leg syndrome, sarcoidosis, schizophrenia, schleroderma, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), seizures, sexual assault, sex reassignment, sickle cell disease, Sjogren's syndrome, skin cancer, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, stent, strokes, thyroid issues, transsexualism, dental diseases, tuberculosis, ulcers, and cesarean sections (C-sections).

A long list, isn't it?

Would you like to tell a child suffering from leukemia that he or she can't receive treatment because they are from a low-income family who can't afford it?

Would you like to tell your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, female friend that if she is raped and/or sexually assaulted, she will not be able to report it to the police if she doesn't want the cost of insurance to increase for her?

If you are fortunate enough not to suffer/have suffered/know or love anyone who currently suffers/has suffered the above, I sincerely hope you never do if the AHCA should pass.

I also implore you to not only call your senators, but call your House representatives who voted in favor of the repeal, too. Attend town halls and be loud. Show up to their offices and picket them as often as you can. Donate to their opponents. Repeatedly ask them the questions they dodge in the media until they have to hear you and answer you.

Know that the Congressional Budget Office had not released the official score for this new plan of theirs by the time of the vote, know that they voted yes to harmful legislation without all the information present.

And most of all, be kind. Be compassionate. Be empathetic. Help those in need. Think of others before you think of yourself or profits or the 'market.' Just be good.

There should never be a dilemma when it comes to doing the right thing.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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