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Friday, January 28, 2022

Columns

Romney and the Affordable Care Act


Republican candidate Mitt Romney has made several vows to repeal “Obamacare” should he be elected in November. Yet, his criticism of the plan is without heart. Perhaps he realizes that the Affordable Care Act benefits a vast number of Americans.

Ironically, the ACA prevented insurance companies from turning down applicants who might have pre-existing medical conditions, despite all the “death panel” rhetoric from the Republican Party.

Acknowledging that the status quo must change, Romney has his own proposal for a health care plan that will replace the ACA. The main focus of Romney’s plan is to keep people who already have insurance from losing it.

However, people who have had a gap in their coverage could be turned down if their health care record contains any red flag — that might increase the likelihood of a claim somewhere down the road. Throughout the campaign and in the first debate, the former governor of Massachusetts has tried to portray himself as a man who wants to strengthen the country from the grass roots.

One of the biggest hurdles for any middle-class American family is paying for medical expenses. Unemployment and taxes are certainly issues worth discussing, but health care is an absolutely indispensable cost. And if you have children, the problem increases exponentially.

Romney has good intentions, so I’m sure he realizes what a massive step backwards it would be to repeal the ACA. In order to win the Republican nomination, he had to adopt a hard-line stance on some key issues that put him at odds with a large portion of the nation. This highlights a major flaw of the two-party system in the U.S.

It would be one thing if politicians stuck to their principles — despite the latest gallop poll — but the unfortunate reality is, in a two-party system, politicians have the ability to shift their philosophy depending on what the people want to hear, regardless of what their actual intensions are. This is why politicians hate third parties. Third parties keep the big two in check by forcing them to reveal just how far right or left they are willing to go on the political spectrum.

In the end, it is impossible to predict if a triumphant Romney would or could repeal the ACA. Yet everything we know suggests this mistake would be at the expense of everyday Americans crucial to economic recovery.

Matt Story is a kinesiology senior and may be reached at [email protected]

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