Opinion: Obamacare debate enters new stage


Jennifer Hutchinson is a freshman political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Jennifer Hutchinson

The debate over the Affordable Care Act is far from over. In fact, it’s entering a whole new stage. With enrollment numbers hitting 7 million, Democrats are rejoicing as Obamacare is being seriously implemented into the healthcare system.

While the fight to repeal the law seems to be dwindling, Republicans are still looking to make changes to the law anywhere they can.

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) came forward with a plan last week that he said puts power back in the hands of individuals rather than government. Jindal knows the subject as well as any Republican, having held leadership positions in health-care agencies at the state and federal levels, according to The Washington Post.

Many Democrats are not even opposed to changes to the law and, in fact, embrace them. Some have commented that the law is not perfect and that alterations need to be made. However, they’re the last ones to propose any new ideas.

However, Republicans might have some suggestions on the table. The Washington Post also reported that Paul Ryan, “raised questions about the cost of some of the law’s more popular provisions and suggested Republicans would try to find less expensive ways to accomplish the same goals.”

The law is showing more improvement than in earlier reports, but that’s not saying much. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week showed that only 49 percent of people approved of the law, while 48 percent still opposed it.

These are the best numbers Obamacare has seen compared to last November’s poll, showing 40 percent supporting and 57 percent opposed. The numbers show that the Affordable Care Act is not doing as well as many Democrats would have hoped. It’s sure to make an interesting topic come election time.

Well, it looks like for right now Obamacare, unfortunately, is here to stay. What Republicans need to do now is focus on how to make the best out of a bad situation.

Democrats have ran on the campaign “mend it, don’t end it” which doesn’t sound all that promising. It’s hard to be supportive of a law that has to go into “damage control” almost immediately after its debut.

While Democrats say they are encouraging changes to the law, they have yet to introduce any themselves.

For now, Republicans need to shift from repeal mode to resolve mode. They must step in and help salvage whatever they can of this law to keep premiums low, keep money in Americans pockets, keep government involvement limited and put power back into the hands of the individuals.

Ultimately, though, this law will collapse under its own weight — it’s just a matter of time.