It’s spring, link time to clean out the old and replace it with the new. We clean out the closets, put away our woolen wardrobe and break out the floral cotton prints and bright colors of the new season. Spring is an opportunity to prepare the soil, plant new seed, and cut back the deadwood of the winter months. With the recent deadline to get healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act and the subsequent success of the over 7 million people who ultimately did sign up, perhaps we can draw some similarity to the dawn of spring and new beginnings. Finally we can come together and agree that although it’s been a long and rocky start, Americans do want and need to have affordable healthcare insurance. It’s a good thing and its most recent success can only mean further achievements in the future. Right? We have turned the corner and we can stop fighting about it. The naysayers will now stop proclaiming its utter failure as an idea and law. WRONG. Those on the conservative right will not stop waging WAR on what they trumpet as Obamacare no matter the recent success of the President’s signature legislation hitting the mark of its projected enrollment numbers. Enabling millions of people to have access to affordable healthcare for the first time in their lives, and millions more to have the assurance that they will not be kicked off of their plans because of a pre-existing condition, does not diminish the resolve to repeal the ACA among the Republican Members of Congress. The beginning of spring and the opportunity for renewal has had no effect on the tired old tune that the opposition to the ACA keeps singing regardless of the facts that dispute their claims of the law being an absolute failure.
When people are so unaffectedly rooted in a strategically constructed goal whose end is inextricably bound to their political agenda, facts have little effect in changing their mind. Destroying the presidential legacy of President Barack Obama has been the goal since the night before his first inauguration in 2009. The President has spent a great deal of time, energy and political capital pushing through this nation’s first healthcare reform, and it is an historic accomplishment, one which will carve out for President Obama an indelible mark in the annals of presidential history beyond just being this nation’s first African American president. And THAT is why those who continue to want to dismantle and destroy this signature piece of legislation, upheld by a conservative Supreme Court, will not use the occasion of spring as a time for change and renewal but rather will remain in the “winter of their discontent.” They will drone on and on and waste time casting meaningless votes, 55 at last count, to repeal a law passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court of the Land, which guarantees millions and millions of people the right to have their healthcare needs met at an affordable price without threat of losing their coverage or their financial stability simply because they or their loved ones get sick. Why would anyone be against that? Unless, it’s not the law they are against at all but rather the man who signed the law into existence. It’s the President they hate, not Obamacare at all.
Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D.
Founder and Artistic Director
The Conciliation Project and
Virginia Commonwealth University
Up Next Week: Life, Death and Transformation