Health care is a right, not a negotiation

To ignore the approach of Obamacare is to ignore the health of the average men and women who make up the heart, body and soul of this nation. Those involved in legislation and politics are the rotten brains, desolated by rivalry and contention to the point where no decisions are made.

The existence of a nation creates a common life for the people of that nation. To enjoy this common life, an individual must be willing to make sacrifices for the good of the many and to commit to communal preservation.

One product of a common life is medical attention. Although the whys and wherefores of this much-debated topic shouldn’t matter in the grand scheme, they do matter, and many people suffer as a result.

Back in 2012, the Supreme Court saw a case involving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Obamacare contains provisions meant to overhaul the American health care system and to increase the number of people who have medical insurance, making it more affordable and accessible.

The decision by the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate provision, which called on all citizens to have health insurance by 2014, while “also substantially limit(ing) the law’s expansion of Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides health care to poor and disabled people,” according to the New York Times.

Since then, with the changes in flexibility, certain states have opted out of expanding Medicaid and running a state health insurance exchange.

“The insurance premium benefits are not and will not be as attractive as they were originally advertised,” said Armstrong Williams, conservative political commentator, in the Washington Times. “In order for the Affordable Care Act insurance programs to reduce premiums, it requires the participation of all healthy young Americans.”

With this being the case, people who might not have spent money on health insurance will have to because of the individual mandate. Detractors to the act say this mandate is illegal, though it has been decided otherwise by the Supreme Court.

Whatever the motive for opposition, the people of America — those not involved in politics who are trying to live their lives — should try to see that the care of someone’s physical and mental health of an individual, that which allows them to experience another day of life, is more important.

Adversaries to the act, who are mainly of conservative alignment, have taken up the plan of dragging their heels; nonparticipation is their means to eventually break Obamacare. Compromise, it seems, is out of the question in this supposedly united country.

“Sounds like the conservative states need to get their heads out of their asses,” said computer information systems freshman Chris Robinson.

“The refusal by about half the states to expand Medicaid will leave millions of poor people ineligible for government-subsidized health insurance,” said Robert Pear of the New York Times. “At least 25 states — mainly those with Republican governors or Republican-controlled legislatures — have balked at expanding the program, in part because of concerns about long-term costs.”

“More than half of all people without health insurance live in states that are not planning to expand Medicaid,” Pear said.

Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, Texas is one such state.

Director of corporate communications at Harris Health System Bryan McLeod said that one option for the poor and uninsured in Harris county is to utilize the Harris Health System, which runs “Ben Taub Hospital … LBJ Hospital and Quentin Mease Hospital, and a network of about 40 different clinic locations spread throughout Harris County.”

“While nearly two thirds of our patients are uninsured, the care we provide is not free and can still be relatively expensive for catastrophic type medical needs,” McLeod said. “We do offer substantial discounts for residents of Harris County who earn less than 200 percent of Federal Poverty Level.”

This is all well and good, but this kind of support will not be found in abundance if Obamacare, or some derivation of health care reform, is shot down.
Among UH students, there is a definite lean towards support of the act.

“I feel like health care should be available for all regardless of ability to pay. I’m for (Obamacare),” Robinson said.

Someone once said that “you’re liberal when you’re young because you have a heart, and you’re conservative when you’re older because you have a brain.”

When talking about people’s lives, the heart swallows that brain whole and spits it into the trash. Unless the brain is a friend to human life, it is worthless. However, throughout history idealism seems to beget corruption and failure.

“I think that universal health care would be a good thing, but it’s kind of like Communism where it sounds great in theory, but once you put it into practice it’s kind of like ‘ehhh,’ ” said psychology senior Nicole Napier.

There is no way to evolve if there is no hope and no belief in hope. The first step is always the hardest, but it is also the most important.
Whatever one’s ideology, it is important to take a first step, one way or another, rather than dragging one’s heels like a child in a tantrum. To drag one’s heels because of irrational fear is to condemn the human race to chaos.

The American government of democracy is screwed up and is a far cry from its original intensions. But it is the best there is, because it allows for hopeful, far-reaching ideas.

Preservation is in the hands of the individuals.

Opinion columnist Henry Sturm is a journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected].


  • You can tell its a college paper, when people think that taking something from someone else is a right. Health care isn’t a magical thing, it takes people time and energy to “produce”. You can’t have a right to other peoples labor. Thats a tax.

    • You can tell it’s a conservative when everything involving decency is either an unfair tax or a job-killer. It never occurs to them how poor health negatively impacts labor productivity and good health improves it. How many job sites have gyms and encourage healthy eating and a balance of work -play in order to reduce stress? But put a Heath Care law into the mainstream which allows the marginalized to access health care which would actually improve labor productivity and suddenly it’s fiscally irresponsible? Wow.

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