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With the United States Federal Government shutdown, there are a great deal of questions that have to be answered in order to accurately understand what is going on and how it is affecting the country. First and foremost, we must address why this happened.
Every fiscal year, Congress has to pass spending bills made to fund the government, which allow the government to essentially run and pay all federal organizations. Since House Republicans are against The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, they will not pass the spending bills until they include changes that effectively defund Obamacare. Until the Democrats and Republicans come to an agreement, the government will not be funding its organizations—hence, shutdown.
Now, we come to the question: how does this affect society?
To the average American citizen, this may not seem like a big deal considering it doesn’t directly impact them. However, there are over 40 individual government projects and groups that are being put at an ultimate standstill. Just to name a few of the problems, unemployment skyrocketed by 500 percent in Utah, the Everglades restoration project has been jeopardized, Medicare program audit has been delayed and 800,000 workers will not be paid as long as the government is shutdown. An even bigger problem is that the longer this lasts, the worse it will get for America. One would assume that the Republicans believe that they are helping the public by protesting Obamacare, when after all they are costing our economy about $1 billion a week. Is Obamacare really that bad? Are we better off with no government funding? Or are the majority of Republicans wrong? Well, let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of both Obamacare and the government shutdown.
In general, everyone benefits from Obamacare. The new laws allow people who are already covered and people who aren’t covered to easily stay or become covered by health insurance in a much better way. Everyone will be covered and your insurance companies are required to do a lot more without extra copays or fees. Students can be covered under their parents until age 26 and insurance companies can’t limit the amount of care they will cover during your lifetime. There are plenty more positives to Obamacare but now we will focus on some of the negatives. Insurance companies will charge more now that they must cover sick people, Medicaid payments to hospitals and doctors have been limited and there will be new taxes for mostly high-earners.
The issue at hand is not whether Obamacare is worth it, but if it is more helpful than the government shutdown. After doing extensive research on the positives of this specific government shutdown, the only possible positive is that President Obama may have to make some negotiations and deals with the Republicans. But depending on how you perceive it, this could also be a negative side affect.
The final question is, simply, is it worth it?
Is not paying 800,000 workers and halting all federal projects and organizations better than having Obamacare? No matter how you look at it, the answer is no.