If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time on this earth, it’s that people love to talk a good game. Instead of actually taking action or concrete steps to create change, they just talk a lot — endlessly. A prime example is the relentless attacks against health care reform. Despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the law of the land and has even been backed by the Supreme Court, Republicans have attempted to repeal it dozens of times, and they continuously ridicule the plan till this day. But guess what? They have yet to offer an alternative. Instead of attacking a plan that over six million people have signed up for (and counting), why don’t they offer some ideas of their own? Here’s a thought: they don’t have any.
This fall, people will head to the voting booth once again for the midterm elections. It’s important for everyone to participate and be involved in the process just as much as they were during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. You can bet the right-wing will run against the Affordable Care Act — or as they like to refer to it ‘Obamacare’. And I hope they do. Because they will be running against children staying on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. They will be running against people who can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. They will be running against millions of Americans who finally have the security of knowing that they have health coverage should they need it. I would love to see them run against this reform, and I look forward to everyone’s testimonials about how ‘Obamacare’ has improved their lives. That’s what we need to do; together, we must remind everyone of the benefits of this unprecedented legislation.
As for Democrats, they shouldn’t run from the president or from the ACA; they should embrace it. Why should they run from an actual solution to a very real problem that has plagued countless Americans? Obtaining affordable health insurance has been a challenge for parents, families and individuals alike. So many Americans have been forced into bankruptcy because of outrageous health care costs, and many others have fallen severely ill or even died because they did not receive the care they needed in time. Many attempted to resolve this crisis in the past, and so many have tried and failed at achieving health care reform. President Obama was actually able to deliver on his promise, and we should be proud to support such progress. It wasn’t an easy road to get here by any means, but now that we are here and now that people’s lives are literally transforming for the better, we must stand tall for we are on the correct side of history.
Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot from folks like Ben Carson who want to scream up and down against the pitfalls of ‘Obamacare’. But he, like all the other naysayers, have nothing to offer except noise. Where is Carson’s plan? Where is the GOP plan? Their deceit and games may work for a bit, but when millions have signed up, and people will start to see the actual results of health care reform soon enough, nobody can hide from the truth — nobody. Democrats need to realize that this is a law already benefiting real people, and that they were the only ones that came with a plan, plain and simple.
To all those that boldly proclaim ‘Obamacare’ is some sort of evil which must be eliminated, they need to put up or shut up. In other words, they can offer an alternative that can match the benefits of the ACA, or stay out of the way. As I write this, Americans are eagerly signing up for the program. They are obtaining more information, comparing plans and figuring out what works best for themselves and their families. With all of the glitches that Healthcare.gov experienced in the beginning, it is fully functioning now and Americans know it — that’s why they are visiting the site in droves. So instead of criticizing and trying to repeal something that isn’t going away, perhaps Republicans need to just get on board for the benefit of this country’s citizens.
And maybe, just maybe, they will realize that hating the President isn’t a viable health care plan.
Follow Rev. Al Sharpton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheRevAl