Opponents to Obamacare are "guilty of murder in my opinion," Senator Angus King, Independent from Maine, said in a recent interview. King says efforts to convince young people to opt out of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," is a purely self-serving move that will have a negative impact on many young Americans' health. "That's a scandal," Senator King says.
Enrollment into the Affordable Care Act for uninsured Americans began Tuesday. For the program to work millions of Americans must sign up, especially young citizens. A tactic that some Obamacare opponents are pushing for is to try to convince young adults into not participating in the new health programs.
Senator Angus King has a problem with this campaign and is not afraid to say so. Speaking with Salon, King says Obamacare opponents refuse to acknowledge the human cost of continuing with the status quo for health insurance in the US. The ACA will get more people insured, which King says is "not just common sense, it's humane."
In his interview with Salon King pointed out that at least 15,000 people die every year because of a lack of insurance. Referencing the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, King says that the US has gladly invested billions to fight and prevent future terrorist attacks, like the events of September 11 when 3,000 died. He reasons that if we are willing to do that, why shouldn't money be put toward preventing many thousands of deaths yearly?
King says that as a young person, he would have likely died if he was not insured. After getting a job working as a staffer for a senator, King got his first check up in ten years, provided free with his new insurance. During his examination King's doctor discovered a mole, which was found to be melanoma. Because King's melanoma was found early, he was able to have a minor surgery which likely saved his life.
Speaking on the Senate floor last week, King made his case for supporting Obamacare. He cited his friend's uninsured daughter, 53, who had died prematurely from complications of asthma.
While Obamacare opponents have made the debate a moral one about personal and fiscal responsibility, Senator Angus King says for him it is a more basic moral issue dealing with real life-or-death situations.
[Image via Senator Angus King]