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Our Politics Are Divided

我们的政治已经分崩离析

# Original Text

Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that's what we need to do today.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what's really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

We didn't fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.

Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.

And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can't be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents' plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.

We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.

At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.

That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there's a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it's to make people's lives better, not worse.

But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That's not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America's doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It's a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

Simply put, if there's a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with dis-abilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it's what's at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that's what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it's possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you're willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It's about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that's always worth fighting for.

Credit goes to Mr. Barack Obama 25/6/2017

https://www.facebook.com/barackobama/posts/10154996557026749

# 個人翻譯

我們的政治體系嚴重分裂。這一狀態已經持續很長時間了。而我明白,分歧使得我們不願傾聽與我們意見相左的美國同胞的心聲,但時至今日,這恰恰是我們不得不做的。

我意識到廢止、撤換《患者保護與平價醫療法案》已然成為了共和黨的核心信條。而我仍然寄望于我們的議員——我的舊友們——退一步,衡量輕重緩急,考慮明白你們對於醫療保健或其他任何事物所採取的措施,其目的絕不應該僅僅是為了打壓和否定民主黨的政績。

我們為了《平價醫療法案》的通過四處奔走、遊說大眾超過一年的時間,決絕不是為了個人利益或是光彩的政績——而是因為我們知道這項法案能挽救無數生命,避免無數家庭的經濟困難,並且徹底地將我們所深愛的祖國推向一個更好、更健康的發展軌道。

我們也絕不孤單。成千上萬的美國同胞——包括共和黨人——投身於合作中來,不是為了政治目的,而是為了每一位需要幫助的美國公民——一個身患重病的孩子、一位因癌症去世的父親或是母親、他們那一個個因為昂貴的醫療帳單而無法實現的美國夢……

因為你們的幫助,我們取得了巨大的進展。百分之九十的美國人第一次認識到健康保險的重要性。雖然醫療保健的花銷依舊在上揚,但增速已達五十年來的最低。婦女不必為她們的保險付出更多保費,青年人可以在26歲前合用父母的保險計畫,避孕與疾病預防完全免費。昂貴的醫療費用、因現有疾病而被拒保——我們使這些成為了歷史。

我們共同創造了這些奇跡。因此,這也是你們每一個人的功勞。

但與此同時,我會很謹慎地,一遍又一遍地重複,即使《平價醫療法案》代表著美國前進的一大步,但它不完美,它也絕不能成為我們努力的終點——理所當然地,如果共和黨人可以提出一個計畫,實行起來比我們對我國的醫療保健系統做出的改善更有效,能夠用更低的成本惠及更多的民眾,我會心悅誠服地公開支持它。

我的態度依舊如此,至今如一。因而,我仍然希望國會中能有相當數量的共和黨人牢記在心:公共服務的根本不是在於爭奪政治勝利,並且我們從一開始選擇服務於人民的理由——我希望你們還抱有這一信念——是讓美國人民的生活變得更好,而絕不是更糟糕。

但八年後的今天,新起草的撤銷醫改的法規在眾議院與參議院中暢行無阻,甚至沒有舉行公開聽證或辯論以傾聽民眾們反對的聲音。這些法律條文會加速醫療費用的上升,收縮醫保的適用範圍,縮減對普通民眾的醫療保障至醫改之前的極低水準,也會像我們所預見的那樣,摧毀醫療補助計畫。這不是我的一面之詞,而是所有客觀分析所得出的共同結論,從無黨派美國國會預算辦公室預估的二千三百萬失去保障的美國公民,到美國醫療保健前線上的醫生、護士和醫院做出的估計。

今天所公佈的參議院議案在醫療保健方面幾戶毫無建樹,卻為巨額財富從中產階級和貧困家庭轉移到美國最富有的人手裡開通了道路。它為富人、製藥產業、保險產業減輕大量稅務,而稅款的減少直接導致了所有其他普通民眾的醫保縮減。購買了私人保險的民眾將會面對更加昂貴的保險費用、更高的免賠額,而即使新的保險計畫不再覆蓋孕期、精神健康問題或是高價處方,更少的稅收減免將使工薪家庭的生活更加艱難。投保時因現有疾病而導致的區別對待甚至拒保又會成為常態。百萬計的家庭會完完全全地失去他們的醫療保障。

簡而言之,只要你將來會組建家庭,是一個會生老病死的人——這一議案的通過就會對你不利。接下來幾周的時間裡,假裝為使這項議案更容易被接受而進行的小改動,也並不能改變這項法規卑劣的本性。

我希望我們的議員們能夠捫心自問:當以鎮痛劑為伴的美國人突然失去醫療保障時,他們該怎麼辦?當需要長期醫護的孕婦、殘疾兒童、貧困成年人甚至是老人不再能依靠醫療補助計畫時,他們該怎麼辦?當你需要緊急治療,而保險公司一再拒絕支付保費,遞來天價帳單,抑或是設置你支付不起的免賠額,你又該怎麼辦?當工薪家庭裡孩子的癌症治療費用比整個家庭的積蓄還要多時,他的父母又將被迫做出什麼樣的抉擇?

要讓美國人民經歷如此的煎熬,卻相應地極大削減富人與大公司的稅收——這值得深思,也使得這一矛盾處於風口浪尖。因而,我仍舊熱忱地希望我們能退一步,繼續為美國人民提供他們所需要的東西。

的確,這需要時間與兩黨之間的妥協。但我堅信,這才是人們想看到的。我堅信,這是一種超脫黨派界限的強大領導力的表現。並且我堅信,我們能夠做到——只要你們還願意為取得偉大成果而付出努力。如果你願意打電話給國會成員;如果你願意去辦公室拜訪他們;如果你願意在公眾面前發聲,那麼請你務必讓他們,乃至整個國家真真切切地知道,這一改變對你和你的家庭意味著什麼。

畢竟,這場辯論的焦點一直以來都不在政治,而在於一些更高遠的東西:我們國家的特質——我們對這個國家的自知與期許。而這,將永遠值得我们为之奋斗。

# 感悟

Living in a Socialist Country, I can never imagine how ordinary families like mine would survive without Health Insurance and Public Health Care Policies. I think Mr. Obama had done a great job ensuring his people Medical Care in need during his 8 years of presidency. And you can never know how hurtful it is to have your best accomplishment destroyed overnight, thus, I hope the Senate will re-consider the bill and let America live a lively life, not a deadly one.