On Jan. 13 the House of Representatives made the historic vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is commonly referred to as Obamacare.
No matter what stance one takes on the ACA it is undeniable that the effects of this decision will ripple into the lives of many American citizens, including those who walk this campus every day.
The impact of this decision was already seen on this campus as students were heard discussing politics and the effects of this vote on a Friday afternoon, rather than choosing to tune out the world around them and start their weekend early.
For that reason, the Old Gold & Black Editorial Staff felt it would be imprudent to ignore this issue.
Although our staff is composed of some students who identify as Republicans and others as Democrats — and many of us have different views on whether or not the ACA should be repealed — we all agree that some form of public healthcare option should be available for those in need.
As President Obama said in his farewell address, “anyone that can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we’ve made to our healthcare system that covers as many people at less cost, I will publicly support it. Because that, after all, is why we serve. Not to score points or take credit. But to make people’s lives better.”
It is time we recognize this attitude towards policy and put aside the partisan differences that lead to gridlock. As a democratic nation, we must work together to develop a plan to keep our country and its citizens safe and secure.
The reality of the situation is that this vote puts our country one step closer to dismantling the ACA and leaving millions without healthcare. But rather than accusing and pointing fingers, we must cooperate and make compromises on both sides of the party divide.
It is not the first time that a policy has been repealed and revised. In 1996, President Clinton and the Republicans in Congress replaced the old U.S. welfare system with a new one, which eliminated poor Americans’ entitlement to government-provided financial help based on their incomes.
But rather than ripping up this plan immediately, changes were made over time. This set a clear precedent of how we as a country can collaborate and avoid an immediate crisis.
As the Editorial Staff, we urge students to not root their arguments in hatred and ideological differences, but rather focus their discussions around the values of listening and collaboration.
It is through fruitful discourse that compromises are made and we can develop plans to best benefit our community.