Pearl Jam, Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Mraz, My Morning Jacket and more are teaming up with voter registration group HeadCount to raise awareness among young voters about health insurance and encourage them to look into the Affordable Health Care Act (aka "Obamacare"), according to POLITICO.
Using the #KnowYourOptions hashtag, HeadCount are spreading information in what's seen as a rising tide of knowledge in the face of a staggeringly misleading campaign against the ACA by right-wing conservatives. As witnessed by the current shutdown of the U.S. government, enacted by a political party hellbent on sabotaging a major health care law that has already been passed and placed into action, the ultra-conservative faction of our legislative body has desperately thrown every wrench and roadblock possible into the ACA implementation, to no avail.
What has resulted is a public divided on truth and benefit, with a great deal of confusion over not only the ACA but the accountability and motives of our entire political system.
Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla explained to POLITICO why he’s gotten involved.
“The effort to derail, defund and discredit the ACA (‘ObamaCare’) is ridiculous and insulting. The law serves to help all Americans more easily access affordable, reliable health insurance, even those who were previously shut out of private insurance because of a pre-existing condition. These objective basics of the law are rarely front-page news. Healthcare.gov does a great job of detailing out the most important features.”
Walla has rightfully accused ACA critics as misrepresenting the law and misleading the public.
“I don’t see a communication problem so much as I see an upsetting misinformation campaign by the law’s opponents,” he said. “The law is a monumental step forward from where we were. Two of the changes already in effect as a result of the ACA’s passage are tangible and real: children can stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26, and no one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. That’s huge.”
Addressing the frustrations of Republicans whose obstructions and political hostage-taking have failed, Walla continued:
“As for the Republican efforts to defeat this law, I’d like to recommend any of the time-tested, American-as-apple-pie methods of repealing a law,” Walla said. “There are many. Like, say, winning an election and repealing a law through legislation which can be enacted by the executive branch. I can also recommend the judicial branch as a place to sort through grievances and contests of law. Our three branches of government provide ample checks and balances, in a sound framework, for any party wishing to engage them.”
He added, “In short, I have no problem with anyone who dislikes just about any law on the books. And while I can’t fathom why the ACA is a law that anyone would stake their reputation on trying to defeat, I certainly support the GOP’s right to their pet rock. (Don’t get mad, I totally have pet rocks too.) But the GOP’s willingness to shut down the government and threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America — on purpose! — over a law that helps Americans have access to quality, affordable health care? That effort is immoral, unpatriotic, cruel, and blisteringly stupid.”
Walla is right. Rather than join the tide of the misinformed, the kneejerk Facebook chorus, it is vital to inform ourselves about not only one of the most pressing social issues of our time, but also on the staggering dysfunction and ineptitude on display by elected representatives in Washington D.C. who do not, in any conceivable way, represent the will or well-being of the American public.
If words like "hope" and "change" are to ever be anything more than cheap campaign buzzwords, if the word "freedom" can ever be rid of its nauseating stench of hypocrisy and political manipulation, if we're to reclaim any sense of domestic stability and promise for the future of this nation, it's absolutely crucial that we inform ourselves on what's happening in America today. It's of utmost importance that we demand our voices be represented once more, rather than silenced by political puppets, saboteurs of the diminishing middle class, strictly serving the lobbying interests of corporations and conservative extremists.