Fellow citizens lend me your ears; I come to bury Obamacare, not to praise it.
Obamacare, unlike the Affordable Care Act that the Supreme Court recently upheld by a 5-4 margin, is a political pejorative, part of a propaganda campaign, serving more to titillate and cajole.
The presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney stated after the Supreme Court's decision, if elected, he would repeal Obamacare.
If Romney was referring to the Affordable Care Act, assuming he has the votes in Congress, is he going to repeal the ability for those under 26 to remain on their parents' insurance, those with pre-existing condition can't be denied coverage, or discounts for seniors on prescription drugs?
The decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act was obviously a victory for President Barack Obama, the Democrats, and millions of Americans who until this point could only participate in a "sick care system" may now have access to a health care system. Or should I say health insurance system?
But it was also a victory for conservative ideology.
Lost in the rancor of the individual mandate was that this was an idea born at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. The individual mandate says that freeloaders must have some skin in the game or what my conservative friends like to call personal responsibility.
But through the lens of Obamacare the individual mandate was not conservative ideology but
However one comes down on the Supreme Court's decision, there is a tragic commentary on our public discourse within the last 10 years that cannot be ignored. Opposition to an attempt to address a health care problem in America was far greater than opposition to the Iraq War?
The projected cost for the Affordable Care Act and the Iraq War is roughly the same. Opponents may respond correctly that it is premature to know the cost of the health care legislation.
On March 16, 2003, just before the Iraq War commenced, Vice President Dick Cheney stated on Meet the Press:
"Every analysis said this war itself would cost about $80 billion, recovery of Baghdad, perhaps of Iraq, about $10 billion per year. We should expect as American citizens that this would cost at least $100 billion for a two-year involvement."
The Iraq War's current costs have exceeded $800 billion and continue to climb. Moreover, this was a war financed largely on borrowed dollars without a line item in the federal budget.
Iraq was an effort of gross miscalculation, irresponsible financing, contributing to the current deficit, and cost lives unnecessarily. At least the Affordable Care Act defines how it will be financed and carries the potential of saving lives.
The Affordable Care Act is far from political nirvana. And it will require both sides working together to make the necessary changes. But the president must also bear some responsibility.
Communication has not been his strength during the first term. The president can ill-afford to continue to allow his opponents to define the law to suit their political agenda.
If he fails to aggressively make the case, the Affordable Care Act will languish in the restrictive bubble of hyperbole and canards.
Last week, when asked how Republicans would insure the estimated 30 million people, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded: "That is not the issue."
Au contraire, it is very much the issue, just as it was for five previous president's from both parties spanning. How can millions without health insurance not matter in this equation?
But thanks to the Supreme Court, we're past that point. The Affordable Care Act is alive; Obamacare is dead.
May it rest in peace.
Contact Byron Williams at 510-208-6417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.