ACA delay provides time for thought

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

President Obama’s one-year extension of implementing Obamacare last week was welcome news for thousands of citizens who were caught up in the tangled and uncertain web of health care reform.
Although the extension was needed the reality was only delaying what is certain to be an epic jousting of political ideologies in the future, perhaps as early as next year. One thing is certain, the rollout of the new system, which was set to have fully been implemented in January, has been nothing short of disastrous, bordering on embarrassing for the administration.
Beginning with the crash of the health care website, the follies included the president backing down on his original promise that citizens would be allowed to keep their existing insurance plans. Those words will certainly be used as fodder during the upcoming mid-term elections and may even be historically compared to then-president George Bush’s “No new taxes” in 1988.
Indeed, most agree that the current health care system is flawed and screams for a major overhaul. But reaching consensus on the solution is mired in political partisanship, resulting in a poisonous IV dripping from the arm of the patient that is the rank-and-file American.
Conservatives, not surprisingly, flogged Obamacare from the beginning. The plan has survived numerous repeal attempts by Republicans, a government shutdown in which it was used as the wedge of negotiation, and even a Supreme Court decision.
But as the setbacks have continued to mount, even Democrats are beginning to publicly express their concerns toward the current version. Perhaps they finally had a chance to read the entire act, which many admit they did not when approving its passage
Obamacare, in its current form, is not the answer, yet neither is allowing any American be without health care. Somewhere in the gulf of political mistrust that is splintering the country lays the answer.
Politicians must use this unexpected window of opportunity to shelve their own agendas and sit at the bargaining table to craft a solution that will best serve the health care needs of all Americans, not just the wealthy few who will actually be able to afford quality health insurance.
It’s the only way the patient will survive.