President Obama’s address to the American people regarding the current situation in our country was spoken with a solemn, yet stoic voice, which denounced the actions of House Republicans to be blatant extortion he would not yield to. He stated the American people deserved what they voted for in the last election. The Affordable Care Act is the reason behind this long standoff that has partially shut the US government down and has caused millions of Americans stress and hardship.
The House Republicans have taken the position that if the Affordable Care Act is not delayed, they will cause the government to shutdown, which it has. Now, let us understand, they have no other demands. The President has offered a budget that reflected what the Republicans asked for, but the Republicans refused to pass that budget to keep the government functioning.
The term raising the debt ceiling has been noted as another reason, but raising the debt ceiling which has been done 45 times since Reagan was in office, does not raise our deficit, does not increase spending, it simply allows the United States to pay for what has already been authorized by Congress. The terms “raising” and “debt” makes it seem to be a bad thing, because no one ever wants to raise the debt in our country. This will not happen. Raising the debt ceiling allows the US to remain credible, and functioning. The United States will default because the Republicans refuse to negotiate even when it is clear what steps need to be taken.
There is a budget that can be passed now which reflects the Republicans’ budget level, which has already passed in the Senate, but House Republicans refuse to pass the budget. It would allow the government to resume functioning while long-term budget negotiations ensue. Raising the debt ceiling to meet our country’s financial obligation is also necessary or the country will be thrown into a recession much worse than the one we are currently overcoming.
Why is the Affordable Care Act such a deal breaker, one which the President won’t give up to remain bipartisan in all he does, is because this allows for millions of Americans who could not afford insurance, to have insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions. It allows employees who may be paying a high insurance premium to compare pricing that may be more affordable based on their income. The questionnaire on the ACA website allows individuals to determine what they qualify for under the new Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act does not penalize for not having coverage, but if someone who can afford coverage chooses not to become insured, or let’s say they qualify for state insurance and chooses not to get that insurance for some reason, then that individual would pay a fee for choosing no insurance.
Most Americans agree healthcare should not be the reason our government is shutdown. The Affordable Care Act has not been shutdown by the Republicans’ actions, but the integrity of our country is being compromised. Americans are struggling because of this inability to reach an agreement, and a much worse consequence is the United States will face default for the first time in over 200 years if the debt ceiling is not raised. Those individuals elected to represent the people are desperately needed, because it is their job to negotiate and compromise. President Obama states he is ready to speak with any Republican who brings something to the table, other than the delaying of the Affordable Care Act, because the American people do not deserve another delay or an inert government.