October 29

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Are Republicans Right?

After another hearing on the Hill today, the Obamacare troubles increase. The House Ways and Means Committee questioned Marilyn Tavenner, who is in charge of the Medicare agency that will implement the law. Republicans read countless letters from their constituents who received notice that their health insurance was canceled due to the restrictions of Obamacare. These guidelines mean that, despite promises made by the president, people will have to drop their plan and buy a more expensive one that complies with the ACA.

<pTavenner was not able to answer the question of how many Americans were unable to sign up for health insurance, and how many have successfully signed up; but, she promised that they would have the numbers mid-November. She also promised that the ACA, despite the present turmoil, would work- but did not answer what Americans should do if their plan was canceled and they are unable to sign up for a new one by January 1st. Tavenner encouraged people to call the hotline or visit the website in order to answer what they should do, but Congressman Pat Tiberi said that “You’re encouraging people to call and talk to someone who has to use the same website that we’re encouraging our constituents not to use."

Congressman Paul Ryan pointed that the website is unclear about subsidies for those under 26, and therefore the youth will be very surprised during tax season of how much they are paying. Another point addressed was that if young people are unable to sign up, what healthy people will pay at the expense of sick people? Some Democrats continued to make promises that a temporary website glitch does not mean the law does not work. “They’re looking for problems to exploit. We can fix a broken website, but we can’t fix broken ideas or a broken agenda, and that’s all they’re offering,” said Congressman Joe Crowley.

The fact of the ACA, however, is that Democrats have repeatedly said that Americans, who elected Obama, wanted a new healthcare system and use this as justification for why the individual mandate should not be delayed. The youth’s response to President Obama, however, may have been very different if he outlined that his promises were not ac actual reality, and that it would be the youth who would feel the real weight of the Affordable Care Act premium increases. It might also help, if during the hearings the representatives of this healthcare law could answer the questions put forth by Congress, and concrete examples of what was happening to fix the “current” glitches.