*Editor’s Note: This opinion is in response to a guest column titled “Obamacare: A bumpy ride, but no train wreck” by Rick Holmes published in the Thursday, Nov. 7 Lake Sun.
I’m writing in response to the Thursday’s editorial entitled ‘Obamacare:’ A bumpy ride, but no train wreck by Rick Holmes, the opinion editor from MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News. Rick wrote very eloquently regarding the differing viewpoints from both sides of the political aisle as pertains to the implementation of Obamacare. He noted the bungling of the Obamacare rollout and how that has hindered the Affordable Healthcare’s start, noting specifically the president’s “misspeak” regarding the cancellations of individual’s insurance policies that have occurred and also noted the website’s problems (one which by the admissions of those creating it, did not have full security measures in place and was not ready for “primetime”). Mr. Holmes also emphasized that the same critics who opposed Obamacare when it went to vote before the house and senate are also the same ones complaining about it now, the same ones who “line the tracks,” attempting to do everything they can to derail it. Mr. Holmes went on to make comparisons of Obamacare to Romneycare and mentioned President Obama’s recent trip to Massachusetts to emphasize that just like Massachusetts, Obamacare can work on a national scale.
The problem with Mr. Holmes comparison is that Massachusetts is one of 50 states and unique unto itself, as is a state such as Texas. When comparing Obamacare to Romneycare, it is important to note that Governor Romney worked to gain bi-partisan support in the passage of Massachusetts’ healthcare plan. The vote was 154-2 in the state legislature and 37-0 in the senate. Because of those efforts, the implementation of “Romneycare” was much more widely accepted. When you compare to Obamacare and it’s implementation, it is wise to consider that it received no bi-partisan support, not one Republican voted in favor. The hyper-partisan law was created behind closed doors and sent into law with Nancy Pelosi’s famous words, “we’ll know what is in it when we pass it,” which many now realize, among other things, meant you could lose the coverage you were promised by President Obama you could keep. The rushed and hyper-partisan passage of the law has now followed similar patterns in the “rush” of the website, which has left many Americans angry, confused and frustrated.
Bottom line, the above mentioned problems have contributed to the ineptitude and dysfunction of Congress these past few years. It has resulted in the present state we are in, with both political sides still warring with each other, even after the passage of the law. It is important to note that while President Obama won key states in the past presidential election, which gave him the electoral vote by over 100 votes, the overall popular vote was 51 percent to 49 percent, not exactly a landslide and not indicative of a plan that would be received by all without the two political sides coming together.
Page 2 of 2 - It is time for congress to begin communicating in a civil manner and listening to opposing viewpoints, so that we can move forward with a more united country. If they are unwilling to do this, we need to vote them out. Too much is at stake! Many people need and want insurance and should not have to worry about having their plan cancelled, whether it is because of pre-existing conditions or because of someone telling them the plan they have chosen is inferior, even if they themselves like and can afford the plan. Present day politics is toxic and has a very bad stench to it. We as Americans deserve better.