Government Shutdown is Not the Answer

It was announced at midnight on Oct. 1 that the government had been partially shut down due to Congress being unable to pass a budget. One of the main sticking points in the battle was over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.” In this particular instance, Obamacare was used as what CNN refers to as the “bargain clip” of the Republican Party, whose intentions were to de-fund Obamacare. Although I identify as a conservative and recognize the flaws of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I believe that shutting down the government over the issue is not worth the price.

In theory, Obamacare’s intention of guaranteeing healthcare to everyone seems like a nice idea, however in reality it falls short to expectations. If you are without health insurance by next year, you will have to pay a penalty tax, unless you qualify for an exemption.The government’s only responsibility in regards to healthcare is to ensure the opportunity for healthcare to be provided. What I am seeing here is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but a human rights issue. We should be able, as individuals, to decide whether we want to invest in health insurance.

President Obama reacts to the government by stating that the Republican Party has “shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of people,” but really, the government has been shut down because of two parties unwilling to back down from their standpoint.

Ironically enough, shutting down the government over a grapple about health insurance will cause a slower response to public health issues and postpone monitoring diseases such as the flu during its respective season. The shutdown will do more harm than good for this country, spiraling us into more debt and causing people to lose jobs while all national parks and monuments are closed. While some government employees wait for our elected officials to do their job, they continue to lose pay. Meanwhile, Congress still collects their paycheck.

It amazes me that in the 21st Century we are still finding political extremists butting heads to a point where the idea of compromise is unbearable. In order to make a real difference in this country, ideas need to be shared, discussed and collaborated. What this partial government shutdown comes down to is two stubborn groups of people who are not thinking about benefiting the country, but of the opinion of their respected political party. Healthcare policies should absolutely be a priority to this country, but by partially shutting down the government, losing research on illnesses and postponing responses to public health issues, we not only struggle to find a solution but become part of the problem.