Congressman’s View: With health care act, why not make fixes now, argue later?

By Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

There is so much mud-slinging and myth-spreading swirling around the Affordable Care Act Washington that it’s hard to see what is real, and what is simply political posturing.
What I do know is there are some problems with the ACA. I will not be one of those Democrats who refuse to admit, or even see, that there are important issues that still need to be addressed. And quite frankly, they need to be fixed right now.
As I said recently on the House Floor, what is happening now with all the partisan attacks reminds me of a story once when I was riding in my son’s car.
I had gone to visit him while he was in college. I was riding in the front, passenger seat of his car, as he drove into an intersection, and the car died. It had run out of gas.
Was I frustrated with what was happening?  You bet I was. Could we have sat there, in the car, in the middle of the intersection, and started bickering about why we were having this problem? You bet we could have.
But the more sensible and productive thing to do at the time seemed to be getting his car to safety, fixing the problem and moving on. There would be time for bickering and finger pointing later.
When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, we need to stop arguing in the intersection and fix the problems. And while I know there are some, I also know there are millions of Americans who are in desperate need of affordable health insurance. There are women who are in need of preventive services. There are adult children who are in need of coverage through their parents. There are senior citizens who are in need of hundreds, if not thousands, in savings each year on prescription drugs.
Not to mention that for decades now, insurance premiums have been skyrocketing for many middle class families. A new report, prepared by the Council of Economic Advisors, credits ACA in part, for the lowest health care cost growth since 2010.
Sometimes, working together to get the job done is the best and most beneficial course of action for all involved. There will be time for arguing later.

Congressman Cleaver represents Richmond in the 5th District.

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