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2012 Fall Issue 6 (October 26, 2012)

Think National Politics Don’t Affect You?

October 28, 2012
By Matthew Fitzgerald

This past Tuesday night I was procrastinating on 4th Libe (per usual) and just generally shooting the breeze with fellow Carls. In the course of a conversation with someone who I really respect, I discovered that they were planning on not voting this fall. In all honestly, I don’t believe that this is the majority sentiment on campus…but it still needs to be said: VOTE. If for no other reason, then for the simple fact that you need healthcare, something “Obamacare” guarantees if your parents have insurance.

The debates are now wrapped up and both Romney and Obama have done their fair share of televised bickering. I can understand how people could be feeling disenfranchised. I get it; this election season has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many. The elections of 2008 seem like ages ago and the momentum of  “change” has seemingly dissipated. Yet, this past June, the Supreme Court upheld the health care law that prohibits insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and allows parents to keep their children on family policies to the age of 26.

That last part is important. Twenty-six. For the most of you, that is three to four years post-Carleton where the “real world” is less scary. It means you can take that amazing internship or entry-level position that may not include a full benefit package.  This piece of legislation was a remarkable feat considering the current political climate in Washington and the implications for U.S. citizens. To say that national politics do not affect you is wildly misinformed and simply wrong. Even here at 300 North College Street, politics still directly influences your life.

On June 28th, the same day the Supreme Court upheld this law, Mitt Romney made a public statement: “What the court did not do in its last session, I will do on the first day if elected president of the United States, and that’s to repeal Obamacare” (cnn.com). Mitt Romney’s speech is endlessly clear, he is not in the middle of the road when it comes to health care and will repeal the health care law. If he wins the election, the probability that you are covered for insurance steeply declines.

Admittedly, I am appealing to human self-interest in this column. The preservation of body is not something to be scoffed at. Yes, this is a single-issue appeal and yes there are many more issues that are desperately important. Health care is a concrete litmus test. Both candidates have aligned themselves on different poles. Romney: against Obamacare. Obama: for (its nicknamed after him!) This health care law isn’t perfect; the Supreme Court has made that clear in its ruling. Yet, the fact of the matter remains, this health care act can positively affect your life.

Given an uncertain job market, and tendency of Carls to take non-traditional careers or continue studying means it is safe to say that many of you won’t be in a position to immediately afford health care after graduation. Taking care of your neighbor, taking care of yourself and fellow students is a good thing to do. Go to the polls on Tuesday,

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