Monday, February 27, 2017

John Oliver Tackles The Affordable Care Act, A.K.A. "Obamacare"

I find the debate over the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare," fascinating. It's a program that has flaws and yet has provided healthcare to millions of Americans that didn't previously have any.

A lot of people want to have it flat out repealed, regardless if there is anything to replace it. However, it looks like Republicans are having a hard time figuring out what to do. I'm not a politician, and I'm not an expert in the field, so I couldn't tell you what the best option is.

I do feel like rich people repealing it just because they don't like it is a little like me telling an onion farmer to stop growing something that makes me cry when I cut it.

People on both sides of the political spectrum are speaking up and saying that they don't want it taken away without at least something to take its place. I think that's a good thing. I'd like to say that I don't have a dog in this fight, because I do.

Last year I had to pay, when I was supposed to get a decent return on my taxes. The first time I had to pay in more than what was withheld in my entire life. I've been working and paying taxes for around 21 years. The year prior I didn't have health insurance, and since it was a requirement, it not only took away my entire tax refund but forced me to pay in an additional $400.

That was a hard pill to swallow. My wife and I were going to use the money from our tax refund to take a vacation. We have been married four years and never got to have a honeymoon. That was going to be the honeymoon we had been waiting for. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way and we both not only learned a valuable lesson... we were okay with it.

We accepted that because we knew it was part of a plan that had the greater good in mind. If we felt that way, why didn't we get health insurance sooner? Procrastination and stupidity. Hey, I'm human.

I'm not an extreme person politically, and I can see both sides of the donkey and elephant fight on a lot of issues. I understand the desires of the right for individual freedoms and the left's desire for social programs that help us take care of our own. For all of the fighting that goes on ideologically, I don't see why we can't find a balance somewhere in the middle.

I personally think that we can take care of people, our fellow citizens, and still maintain freedom. We have to be able to talk about it first, and the two party system that we have plays a part in preventing that from happening. We're pitting ourselves into categories that force us to diametrically oppose one another.

Left. Right. Red. Blue. Democrat. Republican.

I don't think there is a political spectrum as we have defined it for so long. You can believe in universal healthcare and be against gun control. You can believe in a free economy and be opposed to gender guidelines for bathrooms. You can be pro-choice and anti-immigration. You can be pro-immigration and against gay marriage. The list goes on and on.

I'm speaking in generalities, but my point is that there are a lot of issues and yet we try to define our beliefs by taking a "side." Then we have to "battle" the other side to get what we want, when I don't think that is the case.

We are all complex people with differing opinions on a range of topics, and I don't think the majority of us fall into just one bucket.

Maybe I'm just naive. As I said, I'm not a political expert but I feel like we can do a lot better as a people in this country if we could listen to each other and have real discussions instead of labeling everything bad that doesn't align with your assigned seat on the spectrum.

Let me clarify that I'm talking about both sides. I'm not a fan of Trump, because the man lies and he's been caught doing it more times than can be counted. I wasn't a fan of Hillary either, to be clear. I think they were two of the worst options to choose from for President in history.

I'm really just saying I hate labels. We're complicated beings with so much more than that to offer.

Anyways, I got way off topic. I'm a huge fan of John Oliver and his show "Last Week Tonight" is hilarious. This segment tackles "Obamacare" and I think it's worth a look.


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