As a researcher, writer, and entry-level journalist, I cannot help but keep my eyes and ears open to what is going on in the world. Not only is the interest of the world my job, it is also important to me. As I continue to read articles, newsletters and opinion pieces about the spike in unemployment, Americans falling out of middle class, the rich getting richer and the cries of the wealthy as they sometimes lose money that they could never spend in one lifetime, I get angry.
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I get angry because, the systems of the world are not fair. It seems as if the American Dream has been eroded into nothing more than a pursuit no longer of happiness but of personal wealth; personal wealth that is based solely on status and status symbols.
Gone are the days where people wanted to help their neighbor strive and prosper. Gone are the days when people would help someone in need, not for recognition or anything tangible but simply for the feeling that committing a good deed would bring.
Recently I read an article on Yahoo.com that disturbed me to a point of internal disgust with the country I call home. Hardworking Americans in need of financial assistance for health care from the government are not granted access to it in some states. According to the article and research of my own, these Americans do not fall into a specific category of poor that law makers have created to determine who receives financial assistance.
In Texas, a man who attends college makes only $8,700 a year and who has a 4-year-old daughter makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid regardless of how bad he needs it.
According to the Yahoo.com article, in South Carolina, a yearly income of $16,900 is too much for Medicaid for a family of three. In Florida, $11,000 a year is too much. In Mississippi, $8,200 a year is too much. In Louisiana and Texas, earning more than just $5,000 a year makes you ineligible for Medicaid.
Governors in those five states have said they'll reject the Medicaid expansion underpinning Obama's health law after the Supreme Court's decision gave states that option. Many of those hurt by the decision are working parents who are poor - but not poor enough - to qualify for Medicaid.
Republican Mitt Romney's new running mate, conservative Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, has a budget plan that would turn Medicaid over to the states and sharply limit federal dollars. Romney hasn't specifically said where he stands on Ryan's idea, but has expressed broad support for his vice presidential pick's proposals.
Medicaid now covers an estimated 70 million Americans and would cover an estimated 7 million more in 2014 under the Obama health law's expansion. In contrast, Ryan's plan could mean 14 million to 27 million Americans would ultimately lose coverage, even beyond the effect of a repeal of the health law, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation of Ryan's 2011 budget plan.
After researching and thinking about Romney and Ryan's view on healthcare, I can't help but be afraid for the county. At the same time, I'm not even sure if Obama's plan is very effective either.
I can say this though; the 2012 elections are a very serious issue. I strongly encourage voters to do as much research as they can before picking a candidate, as their future could drastically change after November.
At the end of the day, I am no expert on these topics, but I do have a heart and I do care about others. I simply wish the politicians who we put into power had hearts too.