Resolved, that the Affordable Care Act be fully repealed
Brief: In the first years following his inauguration into office, President Obama and the Democratic Congress worked on legislation that would serve as a major overhaul of America’s healthcare system that later passed by a party-line vote. The law is officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but is commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” The law is extremely complex and contains a multitude of provisions some of which are extremely popular, such as the requirement for insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions. However, some are broadly disliked, such as the government mandate for individuals to purchase insurance. Now that the political conditions have reversed and the White House and Congress are both controlled by Republicans, the future of the ACA is in the balance. Most Republicans tout a plan to fully repeal the ACA and then replace it with a different system that may contain some of the more popular portions of Obamacare. On the other hand, Democratic lawmakers argue that while the law is imperfect, it would be better to address its specific flaws while keeping the majority of the legislation in effect. Since the ACA has become law it has been credited with a variety of impacts, from rising insurance premiums as a negative, and more Americans covered under insurance as a benefit. Full analysis and debate about our nation’s healthcare system requires a tremendous amount of information and nuance, but in the end our policymakers have to come to a decision as to what they see would most benefit the American people. But this month, the question is also yours to decide: does a good future American healthcare system require the full repeal of Obamacare?
Health insurance premiums have increased by double digit percentages in most states in the years since Obamacare went into effect. The ACA was supposed to lower average family’s healthcare expenses by $2500 a year, instead their healthcare cost have increased from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Obamacare has inhibited the growth of small business and jobs. If a business wants to hire more than 50 people it has to provide health insurance for all its employees or pay a tremendous fine, keeping many business from hiring more Americans.
Obamacare was rushed through Congress without time for a proper review. The law is the longest in U.S. history but then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.”
The Affordable Care Act has expanded access to healthcare to millions of Americans. The U.S. rate of uninsured was nearly cut in half between 2010 and 2016, the expansion of Medicaid has brought affordable care to millions of Americans, and now young people are able to stay on their parents plans until they reach age 26.
Obamacare contains many protections for American consumers. The ACA prevents insurance companies for denying you coverage, dropping your plan, or increasing your premiums if you get sick or have a pre-existing conditions. The law also prevents insurance companies for charging women more than men.
According to a survey conducted by Hart Research Associates, more than two-thirds of Americans favor fixing the flaws in the ACA rather than repealing it entirely and replacing it with something new.
To read a summary of the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions click here. For an analysis of the positive and negative effects of the law click here. For an article advocating for a repeal of Obamacare click here. For an article pushing to maintain the law click here.
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The Junior Statesmen Foundation is pleased to announce and welcome our three new members to the Board of Trustees, including a JSA summer school alumni and a former JSA Governor. The Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor of the Junior State of America, a nonprofit founded in 1934 that provides civic engagement and leadership programming for high school youth across the country. Joining our Trustees are Scott Bekemeyer, Karyn Dest Harrington and Jennifer Bunn Hayden. Together, they bring a wealth of experience in law, management and policy, and represent backgrounds with experience from across the country.
Scott Bekemeyer is the Chairman of PRE Diversified Holdings, an investment company which acquires and operates specialty manufacturing companies. Scott holds an A.B. and an M.B.A. degree from Stanford University. Scott’s prior experience includes being Vice President of Business Development at ZipRealty and Co-Founder of Sierra Expressway, a commuter airline. Scott loves to travel and he is a former JSF trustee.
Karyn Dest Harrington is Vice President for Strategic Communications at Coca-Cola North America. Karyn began her career as a TV reporter in both Missouri and Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri and dual M.B.A. degrees from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Canada. She also participated in the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition to various SoCal JSA roles, Karyn is an alum from Georgetown Summer School 1995, Yale 1996, and was a resident advisor for two summers at the Georgetown Summer School.
Jennifer Bunn Hayden is a litigation attorney at Hueston Hennigan LLP. Jennifer began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Josephine Staton of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Prior to law school, she was a Teach for America Corps Member in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she taught fifth grade. She holds a B.S. from the Wharton School and a B.A. from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Jennifer was Governor of the SoCal State and is an alum of Stanford Summer School 2000.
Resolved, that the U.S. President be elected by the national popular vote, not the Electoral College.
Brief: When drafting the United States Constitution, the Framers of our government developed the Electoral College, the system by which we elect our Presidents. The Electoral College assigns each state a number of electoral votes based on its number of representatives and senators in Congress, and the Twenty-Third Amendment granted three to the District of Columbia. The electors are chosen by their respective state party and will only vote should their party’s candidate win their state. All but two states assign their votes on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who received the most votes in their state. A candidate must receive at least 270 electoral votes to win a majority in the electoral college and be officially elected President. This system was designed to give each state an individual voice in the selection of the President but it does not consider who receives the most votes at a national level. Five separate times in America’s history, including in the most recent election, has the President won a majority of the Electoral College without winning the national popular vote, leading some some to argue the system by which we elect presidents should be more reflective of the voice of the American people as a whole, not as separated by the states. Is the Electoral College system too undemocratic for our current elections, or is it a necessary institution for the preservation of our republican system of governance?
The President serves as President for the entire country, not the individual states or just those that voted for them, if we really live in a democracy then the President should be selected by the will of all of America’s voters.
By giving each state at least three votes, the Electoral College unfairly makes some people’s votes count more than others depending on the state they live in.
The Electoral College causes candidates to focus all of their attention to just a few “battleground states,” essentially rewarding candidates for ignoring most of the country and the issues important to them.
We are the Untied States of America, not the United State of America, the Electoral College recognizes our federalist system of governance and gives each state an individual voice.
Under a national popular vote candidates would only campaign in major population centers and ignore the issues important to Americans living in suburban and rural areas.
The Framers instituted the Electoral College because they understood the dangers of direct democracy, the electoral college prevents a “tyranny by the majority” from any one region or population of the country.
For more background on the formation and functions of the Electoral College click here. For more arguments in favor of this resolution click here. For more arguments against this resolution click here.
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Pricing package details for all Fall State conventions are listed below. Note that these prices apply only to chapters that register online using MyJSA. The paper registration fee is an additional $10 per student. There is also a late fee of $15 per person for chapters that do not complete their registration by the registration deadline.
Fall State Pricing Package Details 2016
EARLY REGISTRATION PRICES
REGULAR REGISTRATION PRICES
Oct. 29 - 30, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 12 – Sept. 25