Last Friday, Donald Trump’s proposal for the replacement fro the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was rejected due to lack of votes. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, was unable to rally enough people behind the new plan and admitted defeat. This astonishing defeat has sent shockwaves throughout Washington; if this could have been passed, it would have been a major point of victory for Trump, especially in the crucial first 100 days. In short, the plan would be detrimental to millions of Americans, most especially women, the poor, the mentally ill, and the elderly, who are arguably some of the most marginalized groups in this country, especially when it comes to healthcare.
The thing about healthcare is that it’s a universal human right. We are one of the only developed countries that do not offer universal, free healthcare. No one should have to choose between going into an insurmountable amount of debt or continuing to get terminally ill. No woman should lose access to birth control, reproductive health, or prenatal care. Healthcare legislation is complicated, as Trump so astutely observed the other day. Though the Trump plan was going to be a disaster and we should be glad it did not make it through this time, it also reveals something about what is going on in Capitol Hill right now: where is the humanity?
Ever since Obamacare was put into place, the opposition has tried to have it repealed. Under this administration, a major promise was to completely scrap Obamacare and replace it with something better. If they could think of a way to improve healthcare then by all means, lead the way. Obama himself has expressed this sentiment of, “Hey, if you have something better, you are more than welcome to try it out”. We all want what is best for our country and for us, and universal healthcare is part of that. The problem here is how eager several politicians were to repeal Obamacare, even without a replacement. Obamacare was not and is not perfect, but it has worked out fairly well for the millions of Americans currently covered by it, and the fact that politicians were ready to just kick people off of it and offer them a replacement about as good as putting chewing gum in a broken dam is disheartening. They are also so ready to erase President Obama’s legacy that it does not matter who they have to step on to try and do that. It’s not the plan that concerns me so much as the lack of compassion being seen by those who either did not want to replace Obamacare or who wanted to improve the sad attempt at a replacement.
Collegiettes, remember to pay attention to what’s going on. These are strange times we’re living in, unlike anything we have ever seen before. We must hold our public officials accountable, and that includes looking past all the smoke and mirrors to see what their true motives are. It’s up to us, but we can do it!