As Barack Obama and some GOP lawmakers argue over the debt ceiling and the Affordable Care Act, Yahoo asked Americans how the battle in Washington is affecting them. Here’s one perspective.
COMMENTARY | More than 44 million Americans lack any kind of health care insurance and an additional 38 million lack adequate coverage, according to a recent documentary by PBS. Eighty percent of these people are working. That includes me and thousands of other self-employed Americans older than 50. The Affordable Care Act promises to bring health care prices down to a price that workers without a company to subsidize their health care coverage can afford. However, Republican legislators are threatening to de-fund Obamacare and take away that promise.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Wednesday morning his intention to try to tie funding for Obamacare to a stopgap spending bill that’s set to go up for a vote on Friday. The aim should be to only pass the stopgap bill if Obamacare is de-funded. The stopgap funding bill is necessary to keep the government running after September 30th. Boehner calls the Affordable Care Act “a train wreck” and says he wants to protect American families from “this unworkable law.”
Signed into law in 2010, the Affordable Care Act is designed to reduce the number of Americans without health insurance and make health insurance coverage more affordable for those who do pay for their own coverage. It would also set a minimum standard of care across all U.S. health care providers and set caps for hundreds of medical procedures, tests and surgeries. Portions of the plan are scheduled to go into effect October 1.
As an American full-time, tax-paying worker who is looking forward to the advent of Obamacare, I feel overlooked and discounted by Mr. Boehner and his Republican supporters. Clearly, my household is not one of the American families that they have in mind.
I all but jumped up and down when Obamacare passed the House and the Senate in 2009, although a part of me said it was probably too good to be true. If the plan manages to stay alive over the next days and weeks, it will save this work-at-home writer more than $300 per month in health care costs while giving me better coverage. That’s not something I want others to have to pay for; I just want to pay similar health care premiums to my friends who work for even small companies. Is that too much to ask, Mr. Boehner?
Sandy Mitchell is a full-time freelance writer who lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. She’ll be watching the news carefully in the next few days to see the fate of Obamacare.