Obamacare and the Power of Fear

The Affordable Care Act more popularly known as Obamacare, in the opinion of many experts is the most debated law in American history.  Does anyone really know what the Affordable Care Act is? Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, in a very humorous fashion pointed out how people truly believed there was a difference between the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare.  When asked “are you for Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act?” the majority of individuals asked replied the Affordable Care Act.  When asked why they preferred the Affordable Care Act their reply was the Affordable Care Act was set up to help people and that Obamacare was forced healthcare and socialist in nature. You and I both know that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the exact same thing. This is an illustration of how words have power.

The Republicans calling this health care law Obamacare instead of the Affordable Care Act in my opinion, is because of one key word; affordable. Since 2008 republicans have saturated American thought with the ideal that President Obama was just going to give the most underserving and lazy Americans a bunch of free stuff.  The word affordable implies that these health care benefits would still have some cost for the consumer. This affordable plan does not fit into republicans free stuff theory.  Affordable stands for things that are available,   obtainable, inclusive, and within a person’s means.  Obamacare sounds foreign, alien, and negative.   Republicans have done an outstanding job of playing into the fears of the American public. People fear what they do not understand or truly comprehend.  When walking the streets of Montgomery Alabama trying to convince people that it was ok to nominate a Black man for president of the United States, the main roadblock I encountered was fear.  Whites feared the unknown, while Blacks fears for Barack Obama’s life. This is the true essence of the power of fear.

During President Clinton’s presidency when he first proposed his economic policies in 1995 republicans led be Newt Gingrich said Clinton’s economic policies sound good in his speeches, but would never work once implemented.  The policy, in the eyes of Republicans, was too complex and would result in the downfall of our economy. Sounds familiar doesn’t it…  When the smoke cleared Americans enjoyed and unprecedented surplus and Bill Clinton cemented his legacy as one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century. Republicans in congress at the time feared this. What republicans fear today is if this healthcare policy works it all but ensure that the next president would be a democrat and also cementing the positive legacy of President Barack Obama.

HR3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a major healthcare reform bill that was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010.  According to opencongress.org, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization it would expand healthcare coverage to 31 million Americans currently uninsured through a combination of cost control, subsidies, and mandates.  It is estimated to cost 848 billion dollars over a 10 year period, but it would be fully funded by taxes and revenues which would reduce the national deficit by 131 billion dollars over the same time period.

I am going to be honest with you, I could care less about taxes or deficits be them positive or negative.  I have a saying “Taxes go up, taxes go down. Deficits go up, deficits go down it’s been that way since the British left town and the world will keep spinning around and around.” What I truly care about are those 31 million people because I ask myself this question “as an American and Christian can I turn my back on those who have less and tell them to fend for themselves?” In that 31 million people there are those who work 2 and 3 jobs, but are just making enough to live day to day, their fear is everyday survival.  In that 31 million people there are those who know they are sick, but fear being in debt to hospitals more than they fear dying so they don’t seek care.

As a more progressive nation we cannot succumb to fear.  We cannot allow fear to rule us. This is our time to stand strong, arm and arm and tell the Republicans in congress and anyone else that would deny us of our fundamental rights that we are not afraid of you. If the Affordable Care Act will get us a step closer to the ideal that our country was founded on the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We cannot afford to be afraid.

David Washington

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About David Washington

Graduate of Norfolk State University Summa Cum Laude BA in Political Science, President of the New Chesapeake Men for Progress, Navy Veteran, Former Obama Campaign Staffer, and Campaign Manager to Chesapeake Councilmember Dr. Ella Ward
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