The United States is heavily watched around the world in terms of politics or any other action as it is one of the leading countries of the world. Recently, the United States caught the eye of the world in its recent debate of the health care reform. Most commonly referred to as “ObamaCare” the official name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or for short, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 signed the Affordability Care Act into law to reform the health care industry and it was later upheld by the supreme court on June 28th, 2012.
“The goal of ObamaCare is to give more Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance, and to reduce the growth in health care spending in the U. S. ” (ObamaCare Facts n. d). The debate is centred around the Republican Party’s actions of trying to stop the implementation of this law. However, I believe the Republican Party has no right to prevent the implementation of the health care reform in the United States as it undermines “the three elements of democracy – liberty, equality and solidarity” (Brodie,Rein;Smith p.
36). It does this as it is withholding affordable healthcare of the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare and offering cost assistance through healthcare insurance marketplaces to around 44 million Americans who are unable to get health insurance with the majority of uninsured being poor working families and those who simply cannot afford health insurance. Therefore, going against democracy’s free form of always including those not yet involved (Brodie,Rein&Smith p.
38) which therefore directly mocks the idea of solidarity and its sense of belonging or acceptance. In order to fully grasp the concept of the argument a few key terms needs to be defined. “Democracy is any form of government in which the rules of society are decided by the people who will be bound by them” (Brodie,Rein&Smith p. 32). Equality is a term conveying the idea that all citizens should have the same access to the political sphere, the rule of and social entitlements.
Solidarity is a term that refers to a kind of membership in the political community, and feelings of belonging associated with the acceptance by that community. The healthcare reform gives us a chance to rethink equality via solidarity where it is an equality of opportunity instead of equality of chance where everyone is granted the opportunity and are able to have health insurance via the Affordable Care Act. The sense of solidarity is therefore highlighted in the benefits of ObamaCare.
The benefits of ObamaCare definitely outweigh the cons without a doubt. Before the law you could be denied coverage or treatment because you had been sick in the past, be charged more because you were a woman, be dropped mid-treatment for making a simple mistake on your application, and had little or no way to fight insurance company appeals. Today all Americans have access to a large number of unprecedented new benefits, rights and protections.
The major ones outlined by the healthcare reform are there are many of uninsured persons who will get access to affordable quality health insurance through the marketplace, thus 82% of uninsured adults will qualify for free or low cost insurance. Insurance companies are not allowed to dismiss you when you are sick or if you make a mistake on your application. Neither can you be denied coverage or charged more for pre-existing conditions such as being sick.
Another benefit is that young adults are able to stay on their parent’s plan until the age of 26. Also there is better care and protections for seniors and “essential health benefits like emergency care, hospitalization,prescription drugs, and maternity and newborn care must be included on all non-grandfathered plans at no out-of-pocket limit” (ObamaCare Facts n. d). Additionally, you cannot be charged more based on health or gender. ObamaCare helps to curb the growth in healthcare spending with reforms to the health industry to cut wasteful spending.
Seeing all of these benefits, it shows the irrationality of Republicans refusal of the healthcare reform as these provisions encompass solidarity in terms of those who were unable to have health insurance will be able to which brings out the equality of opportunity and linking to solidarity, are now able to have a sense of membership into the political and healthcare community as they are now able to enjoy the benefits of healthcare as the majority did before. After all, everyone deserves the right to healthcare.
However, the Republicans knowing what the Affordability Act entailed did as much as they could to refute it and thus caused the United States to become the focus of the world because of the government shutdown due to their actions. One of the Republicans’ many attempts to refute ObamaCare ended up in a shutdown of the United States government beginning from October 1st, 2013 and it lasted up to 2 weeks. It was time for the spending bills to be passed and the Republicans insisted any new spending bill include provisions to hinder ObamaCare.
They therefore, passed two spending bill amendments, one that would delay ObamaCare for a year and one that would repeal the ObamaCare’s medical device tax. However, the health care law isn’t directly tied to funding the government, but it’s being used as a bargaining chip. The Senate rejected this proposal, which prompted the House to approve another spending plan that would remove the Obamacare individual mandate. The Senate rejected that as well thus resulting in the government shutdown. It should be noted that , “democracy privileges solidarity over ego” (Brodie,Rein;Smith p.
41) and the Republicans actions stemmed from their ego thus there is no justification for their actions. Furthermore, the article “ Health Reform 2010: The Missing Philosophical Premises in the Long- Running Health Care Debate” by Theodore R. Marmor, puts forth a comparison of the healthcare systems of Germany, Canada, England, Japan, and France to the United States. “Each, as distinct from the United States, has created a universal health care program fundamentally based on the idea that medical care is a merit, not a market good.
The equal access standard does not, of course, mean ideal practice, but care is more equally distributed as a result” (Marmor p. 569). This is now what ObamaCare seeks to do by imposing on the health care system that is seen to be run by private-profit companies, whose bottom line is money and not health. This idea of medical care being a “merit” and having more equally distributed care are two factors entailed in ObamaCare. This is where the elements of democracy – freedom, equality and solidarity once again come into play.
Healthcare becoming more equally distributed directly deals with equality which is directly linked to solidarity and the sense of belonging or acceptance as those previously without healthcare are now in the mix. Consequently, I have shown that the Republicans would like to see ObamaCare repealed. If it is repealed then millions of Americans will be without proper health coverage, and insurance companies will continue to be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Without healthcare reform America will continue to suffer the consequences of a health care system controlled by private for-profit companies, whose bottom line is money and not health. Debates in the US press detract from the fact that healthcare is about shared humanity and solidarity, not ideology. The Republicans actions are not justified as it is seen to be stemmed from ego while the Affordability Care Act with its many benefits encompass the idea of the elements of democracy – freedom, equality and solidarity.