Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz

Trumpcare…The Uncertain Future of America’s Healthcare System

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

“What did I do? I did my job. I slashed benefits to the bone; I saved this company money. Was I too harsh? Maybe. I don’t believe in coddling people.”

No, that wasn’t from a U.S. Congress member discussing whether or not to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That was from a 2005 episode of The Office, when Dwight Schrute is given the responsibility of picking a healthcare plan for Dunder Mifflin’s employees. It sounds like something that politicians — especially lately — would actually say though, right?

The recent healthcare debate that’s permeated the American political landscape has not felt far away from the antics of Dwight — matters of life and death have been used as polarizing political pawns in an era of great uncertainty for not only the future of the Affordable Care Act, but for our identity as a nation.

The ideological differences between those both for and against the Affordable Care Act (ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, which was based on Romneycare in Massachusetts), could not have been more clean than in Wednesday night’s CNN-sponsored debate, entitled “The Future of Healthcare.”

The debate featured 2016 presidential runner-ups Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, who spoke for over an hour and a half on policy and the heart of the divide when it comes to healthcare. To their credit, that was all they talked about — there were no personal jabs, mention of grabbing genitalia, or enhancement of body parts. It sadly was a refreshing reminder of how a political debate is supposed to be.

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There were even instances of compromise — an almost forgotten concept recently — with both men agreeing that there is no reason prescriptions that can be purchased cheaper from other countries can’t be brought to America, and that wait-time for drug approval by the FDA can be cut down. They also expressed their joint disdain of insurance companies who care more about profits than patients.

Now to their differences, and to the divide amongst many Americans.

Ted Cruz wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and give Americans choices when it comes to their healthcare by providing an open marketplace amongst private insurance companies. Bernie Sanders argued for as single-payer system, similar to those in Canada and much of Europe, where healthcare is a right of every person, regardless of income and preexisting conditions.

Sanders was challenged on the struggle small businesses face to provide insurance for their employees, while Cruz had to answer to what Republicans plan to replace the ACA with, what happens to people with preexisting conditions, and whether or not birth control will be covered.

Turns out, a single-payer system, while it would cause increased taxes, would allow people with current and unknown preexisting conditions to maintain coverage, would not label all women as having a preexisting condition because of their potential to have a baby, and would promise that all Americans have access to decent care.

While promising to be a friend to small businesses and provide a wider variety of healthcare plans, private-based insurance — at least in the plans set out thus far by this Congress as a replacement of the ACA — fail to guarantee that average Americans will be able to afford them. And the lack of a solid plan is what is frightening.

Bottom line: healthcare is personal. No system is perfect. But surely, having no plan is deadly, for all of us.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

A Rock, a Hard Place, and the Voting Booth in 2016

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

How did it come to this? I doubt that this nation has ever been more united in the fact that our choices for the next potential leader of the free world come this November could not be worse.

In a normal election, we would be looking to policy, ideals and for many, a political party to help select the next President of the United States. Instead, we are torn between deciding which of our choices has offended us least… I should say who has offended us least in the last minute. Alas, we find ourselves at a great precipice and the outlook, no matter where we turn, seems grim. So what do we do?

Personally, I am a Bernie Sanders supporter. I am heartbroken that a man of true integrity, honesty and morality was not able to secure his party’s nomination. That being said, I could not be more proud of his accomplishments as a candidate and the fire his movement started in the hearts and minds of Americans across this great nation. But we have to pick Hillary or Trump, so why am I still talking about Bernie?  Because Hillary is now a much better candidate, due to the progressive policies she has now adapted in response to the movement Bernie and his campaign of supporters helped fuel.

Less than a year ago Hillary was strongly opposed to adapting a $15 minimum wage and waiving college tuition at state schools for all qualified students; but, these are just two of the policies that were officially accepted at the DNC. And she knows she has much work to do – not only in terms of appearing more genuine and honest, but she has pledged to advocate for campaign finance reform, work to stop the threat of global warming and abolish disastrous trade policies such as the TPP in the future. All proposals Bernie has caused her to fight for.

Hillary may not have been our ideal candidate, or even close to it. But right now, she is indebted to Bernie’s followers to win their vote. As a result, she will keep fighting for the principles he helped instill within her campaign and the Democratic party as they move toward November.

And speaking of November, let’s talk about Trump…I mean, what can you say about Trump? This man has publicly endorsed white supremacists and dictators including Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin. He has insulted nearly every demographic of Americans besides rich, white males and his use of hate speech and propaganda is dividing this country faster than we can comprehend it. He enthusiastically supported waterboarding and other forms of torture to be used on prisoners of war, bashed and insulted American heroes such as John McCain and Commander Humayun Khan, painted Hispanic Americans as thieves and rapists… and joked about sleeping with his daughter.

Just this week Trump called for his political opponent to be executed… in 2016… in America. Remember when building a wall was the most offensive suggestion he’d made to date? I’m almost nostalgic for that Donald Trump.

This roundup exemplifies the seriousness with which we need to make a decision about how to vote in this election. Hillary is competent, has years of political experience and has vowed to bring this nation together to continue to fight for the many challenges we have ahead. She may not have been our first choice and as voters, we should constantly challenge our leaders to better themselves, and we can and should still work to make Hillary a better candidate.

We are faced with a challenge, and if we fail, we’ll have a firsthand view as our great nation falls backwards into the hands of a narcissistic buffoon, with an ego the size of one of his many ominous edifices, built by the foreign workers he so vehemently demoralizes at every opportunity.

Bottom line: no matter who you are, Hillary Clinton will be the candidate she needs to be in order to secure the Presidency and appeal to those who have not yet won her trust. As she has demonstrated through her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, she will listen to the will of the people in order to work for them. Donald Trump never has and never will work or advocate for anyone but himself in order to clear the way for his bombastic, imperialistic tendencies. So together we vote, and learn from 2016 and challenge ourselves to get involved….and maybe next election we’ll find we have better choices.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

I’m Being Asked to Pick Between Voldemort and Umbridge…and I’m Voting for Dumbledore: A Millennial’s Moral Guide to the 2016 Political Election

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

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Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Election has largely focused on the youth involvement in grassroots campaign efforts and the predicted turnout of young people at the polls come November. Since this group made up the demographic that largely contributed to Barack Obama’s historic 2008 win, much has been said about who this generation of young voters will support—and how; specifically, the momentum and excitement surround the Bernie Sanders campaign.

I’m Being Asked to Pick Between Voldemort and Umbridge… and I’m Voting for Dumbledore

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Election has largely focused on the youth involvement in grassroots campaign efforts and the predicted turnout of young people at the polls come November. Since this group made up the demographic that largely contributed to Barack Obama’s historic 2008 win, much has been said about who this generation of young voters will support—and how; specifically, the momentum and excitement surround the Bernie Sanders campaign.

As of March 17, the Washington Post reported that “Sanders has won the votes of more than 1.5 million of them [youth votes]. Clinton is second and Trump trails just behind, but the two front-runners combine for just 1.2 million votes — 300,000 less than Sanders alone.” What can explain this phenomenon, that a 74-year-old Democratic Socialist from Vermont has won the hearts and minds of young people? For a generation that is painted as being obsessed with Hollywood and celebrity culture, wouldn’t media-mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump be an obvious choice?

And why not Hillary Clinton, who would accomplish the historic feat of becoming the first female president — and has not only struggled to win the trust of young voters, but specifically young women voters? Perhaps the passion and support for the Bernie Sanders campaign can be better understood by comparing the current political climate to that of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series — an integral part of the coming of age process for so many millennials who grew up reading the series.

We were the first to anxiously hope we would get a letter from Hogwarts, wish we could play Quidditch, dared to envision ourselves competing in the Triwizard Tournament, were the first to cry when our favorite characters died and the first to cheer when Ron and Hermoine finally admitted how they felt about each other. Most importantly, we grew up knowing there was nothing that was more important than for Harry to finish Lord Voldemort once and for all—and stop the spread of his hatred and destruction. Voldemort was the definition of evil for the first Harry Potter generation…that is, until we met Dolores Umbridge.

Anyone with a moral conscience recognized the evil embodied in Lord Voldemort. He spoke about bloodlines and punishing those he deemed as being of “inferior birth,” calling them names like mudbloods and tearing families apart by murdering anyone he imagined would get in his way. Dolores was different.

The magical governing body, the Ministry of Magic and the media they controlled put Dolores Umbridge in charge at Hogwarts after Voldemort had come back to power. They were in complete denial of his return—and what Voldemort in power would really mean for the wizarding community. And in denying what was really going on, the Ministry promoted to power a woman who was equally as corrupt—and its members took almost a year to realize the error of their ways.

In the meantime, it was Albus Dumbledore who spoke the truth. It was Dumbledore who, after he was locked in prison for simply stating the truth about both Umbridge and Voldemort, inspired a group of young followers to risk their own lives in order to fight for what they knew was right. As Dumbledore reminded them, “It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay though never quite eradicated.”

Still confused as to why this generation is fighting so hard to get Bernie elected? This movement is not just about him—it is a movement to end the widespread hatred and bigotry of Donald Trump and to prohibit the media and networks that support the Clinton Foundation from inaugurating the woman whose entire platform is directly controlled by those putting money in her pocket.

Whatever your political beliefs, millennials understand that the next leader of the free world cannot be a proponent of hatred, or a chameleon whose ideas are bought and sold—we need to elect a leader who is moral, honest and has been fighting for economic and social justice for all beings for the past 30 years, no matter how many were listening, simply because he knows it’s right. Since he called for those who believe in change to run for office and fight for progressive change, it’s been reported that there are over 12,000 people who have committed to run for office. Bernie’s Army will fight on…the revolution is just beginning

#StillSanders

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.