New health care discussion

New health care discussion

Universal health care in this country is up in the air yet again as conservative congressional members introduce a new bill that would begin to deconstruct the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as it is fondly known.

What Republicans have brought forth, according to Reuters, is the American Liberty Restoration Act: a three-paragraph bill supported by 20 other members that aims to demolish Obama’s mandate calling most Americans to be either covered by health insurance or pay a fine. President Obama takes a firm stance on this policy and would not be willing to compromise that term.

This endless back-and-forth between the president and congressmen and women prolongs an embarrassing era of total political gridlock where forward thinking and public service come second to pride. Regardless of whether the Affordable Care Act is right for America, it would be miraculous and inspiring at this point to see a Republican member of Congress work to find solutions instead of work to create more problems.

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has taken it upon himself to allot Medicaid money from Obamacare to lower income demographics. The Washington Post reported that over 200,000 Arkansas residents have enrolled in a Medicaid program that pairs patients with private medical coverage.  Gov. Hutchinson aims to get more people covered in his state with this plan and projects that with it, more people will be covered, resulting in a financial gain for hospitals. In theory it sounds like a win-win situation. Hutchinson’s ideas are a breath of fresh air in what feels like all-out rivalry between the two major political parties.

If House and Senate Republicans put in as much time trying to make the universal health care system work as they did trying to crumble it, the U.S. might have coverage for everybody by now. Leaders like Gov. Hutchinson have been called on to evolve affordable care, to think outside the box, to identify and fix its flaws and to bring a workable solution to constituents who have been anticipating an answer for decades.

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Thomas Levy