Do we really have a choice in November?
by ALLISON CRYER
As November approaches, I can’t help but feel a little insecure about the future of our nation.
This November, Americans will be forced to make a decision about the future health of U.S. citizens for years to come and it doesn’t really feel like we have much of a choice in the matter – or even enough information to make an informed decision.
The two candidates on the ticket – incumbent President Barack Obama and former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney – seem to have more similarities than differences in when it comes to health care reform.
A vote for Obama means the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will very likely take effect in 2014. The PPACA would require all individuals to carry health insurance by 2014 or pay a price, a mandate many Americans feel is too harsh.
On the other hand, a vote for Romney could possibly produce similar results – based on his track record in Massachusetts. When Romney was governor, he signed into law health care reform legislation, the first of its kind in the nation, which provided near-universal health insurance access via state-level subsidies and individual mandates. Who is to say he would not try to implement the same reform that so many Americans are now so furious with Obama for sponsoring?
It really is a tough decision because there are so many unknown factors. The PPACA could possibly save states’ and taxpayers’ millions in health care costs due to the increased access and preventative care. But critics of the PPACA say plan could take even more out of the pockets of the taxpayers.
We all can agree that rising health care costs are bankrupting both individuals and our government, but Obama’s plan may not the way to go – especially if the will of the people is not included in the policymaking process.
In reality, it won’t matter who is elected president if Congress remains deadlocked and continues to vote with an agenda tied to their biggest campaign contributors and special interest groups. No president will be able to implement lasting change when congressmen from both parties refuse to compromise on any issues that matter to the public.
Campaign finance reform and accountability to the constituency in Congress may be the only way we will ever get our nation back into the hands of it’s people. Holding a federal political office should not require a multi-million dollar war chest. It doesn’t cost that much to sway the vote if what you are proposing works and has the support of the American people.
I suspect that whether you like it or not, health care reform will come our way. I have heard from many friends, family members and other Louisiana citizens that have said that they do not want the health care reform proposed by the president. Nearly half of all Americans polled say they are against the president’s health care reform package, so why don’t our congressmen’s votes accurately reflect the will of the public?
Voters in Jeff Davis Parish, however, could wield some power this November with the decision of who will represent Louisiana’s newly formed 3rd Congressional District.
Now is the time to focus our attention on those who can effectively improve our nation. If your congressman is up for election, research all of the candidates running and choose wisely – it may be the only choice we get to make this November. Email your candidate and ask them directly how they plan to vote on issues that are important to you. It is their job to be receptive to the wants and needs of their constituents.
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