The problems with the Affordable Care Act are becoming increasingly ubiquitous to the point that it has become a hot topic this holiday weekend. Case in fact, the November 29th Hardball documentary with Chris Matthews (2013): The Right’s Fight to Take Down Obamacare, which highlights attempts to not only derail the Affordable Care Act, but to distort and exaggerate the views of non-biased stakeholders. The Hardball documentary chronicles “the three oddest moments in the right’s attempt to turn the country against Obamacare” (Matthews, 2013). The three individuals whose diatribes contorted the Affordable Care Act were Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann, and Steve Stockman. Cruz was asked by Chris Cuomo what alternative plans he had to the Affordable Care Act; Cruz replied by stating that he just wanted to eliminate Obamacare without any alternative suggestions. Bachmann said that Obamacare was going to literally kill women, children, and the elderly. Steve Stockman misquoted a Tweet from the head of the EPA, who stated that she was “fortunate to have very good healthcare provided by the Federal Government [her employer]” (as cited in Matthews, 2013). He was insinuating that she was glad not to apply for the Affordable Care Act coverage. This raises several questions, beginning with what motives are driving these individuals to come up with such bitter diatribes? Yes, there are many glitches in the Affordable Care Act, however, the majority of Americans want a change and are willing to wait to see if these obstacles can be ironed out. So, does that give the right of others to attack and defame something that could possibly be beneficial? By the same token, one can not help but wonder whose palms are being greased “under the table” by big businesses who have a lot to lose if this law not only works, but becomes a reality.
In a recent FoxNews.com article entitled Administration Announces New Delay in Online Enrollment for Small Businesses, another layer is added to the unsettling dilemma of the new healthcare.gov site. Small businesses are given a one-year grace period to enroll, which allows the Affordable Care Act the necessary time needed to iron out the glitches that has small business turning their backs to the new law. The article stated that the “Obama administration announced a day before the Thanksgiving holiday that it would push off online enrollment for small businesses by another year” (“Administration Announces New Delay,” 2013). Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the deadline to December 23rd for small business to enroll their employees “if they want coverage by the first of the year” and that tax credit applications do not need to be submitted until tax time (“Administration Announces New Delay,” 2013). As I was speaking with some small business owners and inquired about their thoughts on the Affordable Care Act, the consensus was to pay the fine as opposed to paying exorbitant insurance prices that would inevitably put them out of business. As I stated in my last blog, the Mom and Pop stores that made middle-class America prosperous are slowly becoming extinct and with this added expense, it will only expedite the process. So, what does this application delay mean for small business owners? And, what does this delay mean for right-wing extremists who want to derail the Affordable Care Act?
With all these delays, one can not help but wonder why a lengthier extension for individual applicants has not been initiated? How many other stumbling blocks will we encounter from the mounting problems of the Affordable Care Act? Or, is it possible that individuals on Capital Hill are looking to exacerbate the situation for their own personal gain? After all, even Ted Cruz could not come up with a positive alternative solution, even though back in August he offered an alternative. Did he change his mind and decide that it was not a good solution? . So, is the American healthcare system as we know it supposed to fail and force citizens to seek healthcare solutions outside its borders?
What are your thoughts?