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Burdens and Profits: the Missed Conversations about Obamacare

Last evening, a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, and ruled the law unconstitutional. As is predictable, the moment the decision by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor was announced, partisans on all sides took to social media to either vent their spleen by raging against Trump or dance in rapture over Obama’s demise.

This is, of course, the sad state of our politics; instead of being informed about policies through research, too many form their decisions through ideological filters. Too many people who oppose or support Obamacare do so not because they understand the specifics of the laws, rather they staked out their position based on the platitudes and rhetoric of their favorite politician.

The truth about Obamacare is that it is a deeply flawed legislation that was crafted to put profits ahead of patients. There is nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act, enacted to “bend the exploding cost of healthcare”, a near decade of Obamacare has witnessed the continued skyrocketing of premiums and deductibles. This is what happens when a law is written at the behest of providers and insurers, the considerations of consumers took a back seat to the business concerns of corporations. The only difference between Romneycare and Obamacare is the brand name they used to justify the legislation.

It almost goes without saying that Republicans are a party of Wall Street who worship at the altar of “free markets”. The GOP has never seen a tax cut for billionaires they did not love— they truly are the party of the 1%. Where Republicans are transparent in their loyalty to the aristocracy, the Democrats are just as wedded to globalists and multinational corporations but hide their obsequiousness through identity politics and pretending to care about social justice . What Republicans achieve through tax policies, Democrats likewise enhance the profit margins of conglomerations by burdening consumers. Click To Tweet

Placing the onus on consumers is exactly what Obamacare did, by mandating coverage through financial coercion and eliminating the single player option, the ACA was nothing more than a value added tax that increased the revenues of healthcare corporations by taxing consumers. There is a reason why the share prices of corporations like Aetna, Cigna and their ilk took off once Obamacare was implemented, forcing people to become customers while eliminating competition from the marketplace is a recipe for Wall Street success.

Democrats believe in saving the planet but not if it hurts the profits of corporations. Time and time again, they come up with schemes to “go green”, “reduce carbon footprints”, or “ensure universal coverage”, but they do so by transferring costs from profiteers to people. To put it another way, corporations are given leeway to create a crisis at which point Democrats step in and demand solutions by passing the buck to the consumer by implementing laws that will hit our pockets. Republicans, on the other hand, believe that if you leave corporations alone, criminals will police themselves.

Talk about a rock and a hard place, between the laissez-faire attitude of Republicans and the Machiavellian ways of Democrats, the consumer is always getting squeezed in order to enrich the plutocracy. It is this level of unfairness and a tilted playing field that benefits few at the cost of many that is fueling the discontent in France. The Yellow Vest movement was borne out of exasperation; Parisians got tired of eating the crumbs of austerity pie while the affluent feasted like royalty.

This morning, as many are debating the virtues or vices of Obamacare, one thing will remain constant no matter what the Supreme Court decides on this issue. The cost of healthcare will continue to explode and more and more people will be driven into insolvency as they try to keep up with runaway expenses. We have two parties that are working to protect corporate profits, until enough people realize this and walk away from both, we will keep financing the uber wealthy by paying through our noses. One thing is for sure, neither Obama nor Trump care.

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Lij Teodrose Fikremariam
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Lij Teodrose Fikremariam

Lij Teodrose Fikremariam is the co-founder and former editor of the Ghion Journal. He is currently the chair of Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy. A published author and prolific writer, a once defense consultant was profoundly changed by a two year journey of hardship and struggle. Going from a life of upper-middle class privilege to a time spent with the huddled masses taught Teodrose a valuable lesson in the essence of togetherness and the need to speak against injustice.

Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Lij Teodrose Fikremariam
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