U.S. to be divided by healthcare – forever?

U.S. government even shutdown their Twitter accounts last week (Megan Cooke/AQ)
U.S. government even shutdown their Twitter accounts last week (Megan Cooke/AQ)

A small portion of the United States Congress is making a big impact on the lives of not only Americans, but also those abroad.

Political scientist Jamie Gillies said the government shutdown in the U.S. will affect Canadians in the long run because the U.S. and Canadian economies are so closely linked.

“If this starts to effect U.S. markets and the U.S. economy, it will have a significant impact on Canada perhaps first before other international trade partners in the United States,” he said. “We have half a billion dollars of trade a day with the U.S.”

Last week, the United States government was forced to shutdown because Congress couldn’t make a decision regarding the federal budget. The Tea Party members of the Republican Party are trying to stop the funding and implementation of the Obama Health Care Law.

STU student and Maine-native, Halley Phillips, thinks the government is making a mistake.

“The parties, and both for sure, are acting like spoiled children. They can’t get what they want so they decided to throw a tantrum, but this time it affects thousands of people.”

Certain government jobs are being cut because of the shutdown, which is costing the United States $300 million daily.

“It effects many people very negatively, people have lost their jobs for the time being and checks are being sent out late, this is particularly bad for people who live paycheck to paycheck,” said Phillips.

Gillies said the tactic of shutting down the government is not a good strategy.

“You never shutdown the government unless it’s absolutely necessary and in this case it isn’t.”

The last U.S. government shutdown was 17 years ago when Bill Clinton was president. The two parties were unable to decide on funding for Medicare, public health, education and environmental concerns.

Val Johnstone, also an American student, says she wishes she could be home while this is going on.

“It’s so weird being in Canada while this is happening, just as it was with the presidential election. A lot of my friends don’t approach this issue with as much concern or interest because it hardly affects them. Whereas I know people who can face unemployment and the shutdown is very real to them.”

Gillies thinks the Tea Party members of the Republican Party are to blame for the government shutdown.

“I don’t like the precedent that’s being set here of one political party trying to hold essentially the government hostage.”

He says the Republicans are still sour over the new insurance law, Obama Care, and want to stop it from being implemented even though it went “live” last week.

One million Americans signed up for Obama Care in one day – the same day the government shutdown.

Gillies thinks the President and the Democrats will win the argument in the next week but he says affordable health care will still be an issue in the United States.

“I think the public is going to be divided on health care – on insurance distribution – forever,” said Gillies.

Phillips said she agrees with Obama Care because it gives fellow Americans who cannot afford health care in the past an opportunity to buy it.

“People become upset thinking they’ll start paying for someone else’s health care but it’s not true,” said Phillips. “We’ve come to a point where we’ve all become immensely selfish and uncaring. It’s sad to see people this separated and opposed to each other.”

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