Mark L. Hopkins: Moving on with ‘Obamacare’
Did you know that when the colonies of 1776 sent the Declaration of Independence to King George in England, there was no referendum for the people to speak to the issue? Our leadership sent it, and war was the result. Not everyone was happy.
Later, when we were deciding on a language for our country, the choices came down to German and English. Though the matter was tabled and no vote was actually taken in Congress, there was strong support for making our official language German. (At that time in history England was not popular in the U.S.) The result of that tabling action is that today we still speak English in the U.S. But not everyone was happy.
In more modern times, Congress passed women’s suffrage, Social Security, the civil rights bill, Medicare and Medicaid. We sent troops into Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Society changed as a result of the new social programs, and soldiers died as a result of the wars. Again, not everyone was happy.
The purpose of the preceding is to point out that we have had major controversy in our country regarding actions by our leadership, and the list of such controversies is exceedingly long. In every case we have resolved the issues or not and, though not everyone was happy, we have moved on.
In recent months the U.S. House of Representatives has had more than three dozen votes to abolish “Obamacare.” Multiple states have entertained bills that would allow them to negate the provisions of the law. Recently I saw an advertisement that asked us to help one of our senators stop Obamacare. Supposedly, we were to send money to help get rid of it. All of this continual opposition is despite the fact that Obamacare was passed by Congress in 2010, was ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, became fully operational in 2014 and most recently has enrolled more than 7 million subscribers who will benefit by its availability.
As is true with Obamacare and many of the other issues listed above, not everyone is happy. Still, the die is cast, the decision is made, and we have long since passed the time when we should still be debating any of these matters. They are past, fait accompli, over with, gone. We don’t have enough time, mental energy, or money to tilt at windmills or to cry over spilt milk. It is time, as in the past, for us to take our “wins” or our “loses” and move on. The future looms. We need to put our focus where it belongs.
Dr. Mark L. Hopkins writes for More Content Now and Scripps Newspapers. He is past president of colleges and universities in four states and currently serves as executive director of a higher-education consulting service. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.