The American Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, has been under attack since its inception, going as far as the Supreme Court in conservative efforts to defeat the program. Instead of acknowledging that more than 40m Americans go without health insurance, placing their lives, and those of their families and friends, as well as their finances at considerable risk, conservatives brandish calls for greater liberty as an argument.
Conservatives at the state level dominate Florida, that bastion of liberty and freedom for the wealthy and connected. Tallahassee is the crawling ground for ultra-conservatives whose entire remit is to make life as complex and difficult as possible for the poorest citizens while ensuring that the wealthy enjoy lives of sumptuous luxury.
The latest attempt to deface the edifice of middle class security is to gut Obamacare. Obamacare would provide affordable medical insurance for millions of uninsured Floridians. It would ensure that people with preexisting conditions would be able to purchase insurance, albeit expensive insurance. Children of the insured would be able to remain on their parents insurance until age 26, ensuring that even if they have no work, they will be covered.
The 2012 election ballot in Florida includes 12 amendments to their constitution, all of them created by conservatives, all of them designed to strip the poorer classes of rights, all of them couched in terms that make them sound as thought they are benefits to the community. The first constitutional amendment deals with Obamacare.
The amendment states in part that it “prohibits any law or rule up to the state level from forcing citizens to purchase health insurance”, a direct attack on the central premise of Obamacare, the individual mandate. While the amendment would have no teeth, since Obamacare is a mandate at the federal level, it would essentially send the message that a majority of Floridians does not back the individual mandate. This would provide a pathway for legislators to overturn the law at the federal level.
The amendment is poorly crafted, specifically vague and almost incomprehensible to all but skilled members of the legal profession. No constitution or amendment should be so crafted as to be opaque to citizens. Amendments should be easily understood by a majority of educated citizens. Attempts to mislead or deceive is disingenuous and clearly increases the ability of the legislature to manipulate the people. Governance ought to be done in a transparent manner, open to the people of a democracy.
The advantages of Obamacare are quite clear. It provides a pathway to less expensive health insurance for residents that are not currently covered. Like any insurance policy, it reduces the risk for all participants. Just as the expense of covering a motor accident is spread among all contributors, the expense of medical coverage is spread among residents.
This means that younger, or healthier residents will not be using the services as much, but still contribute to the pool. When they start to avail themselves of the services, typically as they age, they still have coverage and are not left to the wiles, complexities and deceptions of the marketplace.
As the system is now, if you are not able to afford coverage, when you are young and healthy, you do not purchase coverage. Once you need coverage, either you will not be able to purchase insurance, or the cost will be so exorbitant that either you will not be able to afford it, or you will enter bankruptcy. This is what any insurance does for people, spread the risk and ask that young healthy individuals purchase insurance that will be there for them when they do need it.
This is really the reason that this country needs universal health care, covered by the government, not by private enterprise. Without the profit motive, people will receive the coverage that they need, efficiently and without denial of essential services. One should not have to jeopardize their life because a corporation wants to make a profit.
For these reasons, I would vote NO on this amendment.
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