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Obama is not ‘worst president in history’

Katrina Linden | Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Now that Obama’s “Affordable Care Act” has successfully – or not so successfully – been put into action, I think it’s time that we use the income the program will bring to euthanize the old. Okay, not really. But we need to kill the old school of thought that says all aspects of socialism are bad and that capitalism is always the answer.

A politician recently compared the injustices of apartheid to what he said were the implied injustices affordable healthcare is bringing to the United States. The fact that he compared years of racism, prejudice and discrimination to a government attempt to foster a better standard of living for millions of Americans is truly disgusting. There are actually people angry that the ACA forces people to purchase preventative healthcare as it is much like bills passed with the Environmental Protection Agency that force the clean burning of coal and gases because they cost companies more to produce, even though they exist to create a less polluted world.

And while we’re on the subject of criticism of our president’s actions in office, can we please stop referring to the Affordable Care Act as Obamacare? He did not coin it as such, and it is not a product of extreme hubris, as many people incorrectly believe.

More so, the ACA is attempting to bring fair and affordable coverage to Americans who otherwise lack it and to hold businesses accountable for providing healthcare for its employees. Many affluent individuals may take the PPO that their companies provides for granted, and therefore will likely be unaffected by the ACA, besides a raise in taxes, which isn’t exactly an unfair compromise for those paying a far smaller percentage than most middle-class contributors.

My issue is that things as simple as the braces to fix my teeth are a luxury most of my friends with undocumented parents cannot afford, because there has been no affordable healthcare available to undocumented individuals and their families. A car accident or simple flu could be life or death for many of my friends lacking health care. And it is not even because they wish not to receive health insurance. It is because they have been unable to obtain it through past restrictions. Though I realize undocumented individuals will not yet be able to obtain affordable health insurance, their children will be able to at an affordable cost.

The thing about the ACA is that it provides stability for those constantly concerned about not becoming ill or being injured. The common argument is that the ACA forces people to pay for insurance when they are not really sick, which is absurd, because primary concerns should revolve around preventative actions, including doctor check ups and vaccinations, to which many of those without insurance lack access.    

Furthermore, can we please stop saying that Obama has been the worst president in history and he should be immediately impeached? Can we stop allowing the inefficiencies and terrible obstacles created by the extreme right-wing Republican portion of the government to create an unfair criticism of the leader of our nation? Far too many people are uneducated as to the positive achievements of our current government, and focus far too greatly on the negative and many times misinformed “facts” distributed by various media outlets. And given that, I am likely as uneducated as many of the people I criticize, so forgive me for any inaccuracies.
Perhaps I’m downplaying the negative effects of the ACA, but the majority of the bill is based around bringing affordable care for those minority groups of the United States: women, young children, low-income individuals and others who are not upper-middle class WASPs failing to understand the struggles of discrimination based on gender, age and income levels, both socially and institutionally.

And a note for the Republicans government leaders who forced a government shutdown because they could not stand the possibility of individuals being able to attain the same rights to universal health care as them: Grow up. Now that you have to face the new bill, stop complaining that the ACA is too slow and inefficient, this would not be the case had the government united in its sole purpose to benefit the greater American society instead of personal conservative goals.

Katrina Linden is a sophomore English major with a Studio Art minor living in Lewis Hall. She can be reached by email at klinden1@nd.edu
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.