A few weeks ago I had a lengthy discussion on Facebook about the ACA. The bulk of the discussion was voiced by me, a couple of my cousins and an asshole who seemed to think his opinion was the only opinion that mattered (and who I no longer respect after he basically called us all freeloaders when he couldn’t convince us that his way is the only way).
I was swayed back and forth between both sides of the argument. But then something Irene said pulled it all together for me and I was able to take a solid stance. So, here’s the summary and what it all came down to for me.
(Comment copied from the discussion with mild edits applied.)
I guess it depends on how you look at it. When we call it slavery, though, it feels like a big exaggeration, like we’re blowing the whole thing out of proportion. If this is slavery, it’s barely noticeable.
I’ve been thinking about this discussion all day. Wendy moved to England a little more than a year ago when she married Mark. I don’t know exactly how long she had been fighting cancer, but if I recall correctly, she’d beaten the cancer not long before she got married. So, it wasn’t that long ago that she was dealing with the insurance companies we have here in the United States. I think her information is up-to-date and accurate.
Now Wendy is living in England and, as she said, she gets free healthcare. David pointed out that there is no such thing as free healthcare; that somebody else has to shoulder the expenses for the healthcare that is considered to be “free”. He’s not wrong, but Wendy’s not exactly getting charity that somebody else has to pay for. Wendy pays 70 pounds a month along with, I’m guessing, everyone else in the UK, whether they need the medical attention or not. This insures that when somebody does need medical attention they don’t have to worry about whether they can afford it or not, because it’s already covered.
Why shouldn’t we have something like that in the United States? While the ACA is not exactly the same thing as what Wendy has in England, it sounds like they intend for it to function in pretty much the same way. Irene, who has worked in the medical field for years, reminded us that people use emergency rooms as doctor’s offices because they can’t afford insurance. More often than not, they also can’t afford the bill for their time in the emergency room. The bill goes to the government and the government pays it with tax dollars.
I think that people who oppose the ACA are saying to those in need of medical attention, “If you can’t afford it, you can’t have it.” But I feel that nobody should have to suffer or die just because they can’t afford insurance. The ACA, like the NHS, could make it so that nobody has to worry about not being able to afford healthcare when they need it.
So, that’s where I stand. The ACA, although not perfect, makes a lot of sense to me now. I think it makes as much sense as paying taxes for roads, schools, law enforcement and fire departments, etc. Everyone needs medical attention at some point in their lives, and if they can’t afford it, the government covers it. I think the ACA would make it so the government doesn’t have to pay for so much and it could improve the economy. It would probably be better if we went for something more like what they have in Europe, but the ACA looks like a step in the right direction.