The Fundamental Issue with Obamacare

LONG DO (GRADE 11)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, has been a topic of debate since its inception in 2010. Proponents generally view the program as a success, pointing to the massive decrease in the amount of uninsured Americans that followed its implementation. On the other hand, detractors criticize ObamaCare’s high deductibles, charging that having insurance is futile if it is too expensive to use.

The fundamental issue with ObamaCare, however, is not in its implementation but in the way it approaches the problem it is trying to solve. At its core, the Affordable Care Act is a reactionary policy in response to millions of Americans who could not afford healthcare. Its solution was to compel everyone to buy insurance (by fining them if they didn’t) and taxing the wealthy to provide subsidies for low-income families. Basically, Obamacare’s solution to people lacking insurance is just to give it to them. This approach completely ignores the root cause of the problem, the “afford” in Affordable Care: money. People don’t have health care because they don’t have money. That is the fundamental issue. The job of the government is not to provide everyone with insurance but to make sure everyone can afford it. Whether or not they choose to purchase health care should be outside the realm of government power. Rather than simply allowing people to become poor and then giving them health care, funds appropriated to ObamaCare could be much better utilized in education reform or job opportunities that help underprivileged people make more money. If this were to happen, people previously unable to afford health care would be able to purchase coverage and have permanent employment. Not only would this alleviate the issue of “free-riders” since people would still have to work to buy insurance, putting more capital in the hands of the impoverished works to combat against issues that prey on the poor such as homelessness, drug use, and crime.

In short, it is better to teach a man how to fish than just giving him the fish. Or in this case, you should teach a man how to fish so that he can sell that fish and buy healthcare.

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