The fight to fix America’s health care has been going on for so long with no positive progress, that every time I check the news and see that Congress failed to make any headway in repealing Obamacare I sink ever deeper in my hatred for the mire of bi-partisan politics. Sure, a year ago we could blame the Obama administration for the state of things in this nation, but we’re halfway through 2017 and at this rate it seems we’ll never be able to fix the absolutely broken healthcare system. I feel the phrase, “where there’s smoke there’s fire” applies perfectly to American politics, in that although the two parties pretend to be living in two totally different versions of America, whenever you see both sides complaining about an issue that means that it’s actually a matter that concerns the entire American public. Taxes, domestic safety, and health care all fit in this realm, and if there’s one thing that can and should be immediately fixed, it’s the health care issue. Every month that moderate Republicans like McConnell and Graham delay and fail to put together a reasonable bill and repeal the disaster that is Obamacare, is a month that every single American, including our veterans and ever-growing elderly population, goes without quality aid. Not only is this a totally avoidable situation, but it’s also an ever-growing embarrassment on the part of America, as it reflects poorly on us in the international community. It’s time to tell the old crooks in D.C. to stop playing games and actually represent us, and now, more than ever, we have the ability to do so.
Just the other week, I picked up the phone and listened to a Nevada town hall with Senator Dean Heller. He had citizens of Nevada call him up, and discuss the issues that they felt were most important, and he would spend time breaking down his stance on them and how he was trying to work on these issues in Washington. What surprised me was that every single caller, every one, didn’t want to talk about immigration, taxes, or Syria. Instead, the only focus of every Nevadan, either young or old, was health care. Whether it was a military wife complaining about the lack of mental health care in this nation for her suffering husband, a concerned son, worried about his mother stricken with cancer, or an old retired couple, unsatisfied with their current coverage in their twilight years, every single person had a different reason to be upset with the current system and every single reason was valid. Heller, who has been nothing but a road block in the process of repeal and reform, (Trump just called him out today), is just one of many moderate Republicans who find themselves wielding the power to help Americans, but instead choose to serve their own interests, attaching riders to bills and taking breaks and holidays, not taking advantage of the message America sent this last November.
“The current systems don’t work and the people are suffering. Eight years of Obama didn’t bring us ‘hope and change’ but rather unwanted regulations and oppressive legislature. Please, do the job we’re paying you to do and actually represent the American people.”
I feel that Congressmen take advantage of the American people, no matter which party is in charge, because we let them. Young people are un-involved and misinformed, old people are over-involved and misinformed, and the news media spend all their time making money off us by keeping us misinformed. It’s a destructive cycle that’s only been strengthened by fake news and horrible social media bubbles. People somehow feel that posting enough memes or sending enough angry tweets at Ted Cruz will actually solve something, but it won’t. I propose that we stop trying out methods that have been proven to be useless, and instead adopt ones that will. Although I despise people like Senator Bernie Sanders and Linda Sarsour, and movements like The Women’s March and the people protesting pipelines, you have to recognize the power they’ve garnered through genuine involvement as of late.
Modern progressives have been experts lately at tapping into the fear, anger, and passion that every good movement needs. You need a clear goal, you need personal involvement, you need to have good orators to capture the people’s hearts, and you need to have good strategists to capture the people’s minds. As much as I roll my eyes at the people who got themselves intentionally arrested in D.C., putting on a demonstration to raise concerns about fracking, at the end of the day their movement made a difference. People I went to both high school and university with, no matter where they were located, all had an opinion on the matter. Almost all of my fellow film students at UT Austin partook in the Women’s March, ditching other commitments to do so. I know dozens of kids who skipped school and work to camp out and hold signs at Bernie Sanders rallies. The left is tapping into people’s fears and needs and actually doing the “boots on the ground” organizing that the right fails to do time after time.
This is why I’m proposing that Americans take a page out of the progressive handbook, and use health care as a rallying call to take a stand. As I stated earlier, health care isn’t something we can keep kicking down the street. Every day our senators wait to take action is another day millions of Americans suffer. The only option that we know will work and help Americans is repealing Obamacare, and allowing Americans the option to choose the health care that works best for them, no matter what state the insurance needs to be bought from or how much it costs and covers. This is a hill worth dying on, and there’s plenty of ways to fight for this. Organize marches on state capitals, sign petitions, start social media campaigns, if you go to a major university, get students to organize orgs and movements that badger your state senators to actually deliver on what they promised. The time of hands-free governing is over, the government exists to serve the need of the people, not the other way around. Putting an “X” on Donald J. Trump’s name in November was just the start to fixing this nation, if we the people want to keep the ball rolling, we’re going to have to do a lot more than we are currently. If you didn’t vote for Trump that’s fine, it’s time to stop playing team sports with politics, and start making decisions that put this nation on the right path. Together, we can do anything, and united, we’re unstoppable. Let’s start acting like it.