I have seen a lot of tweets, Facebook postings and web articles on Obamacare, since Justice Roberts and the rest of the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. For as much complaining as there is going on, I wanted to explore why the ACA, dubbed Obamacare by the GOP, is just a small step forward towards true healthcare reform. I will examine what I know of the bill, from my own knowledge, something learned through the teachings of Mr. Paul Leonard. Leonard is the former mayor of Dayton, Ohio, a Constitutional law professor, and a lawyer himself. He teaches the American Government class at Wright State University. I will also explore concepts based on what I’ve read by others more knowledgable than I am, on the subject.
First, I hear a lot of people talk about how healthcare and being healthy is not a right. I tend to disagree. The founders spoke about being entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Without good health we struggle to maintain any of these rights desired for the people by the founders in the Declaration of Independence. In the Constitution, it says all men are created equal. Therefore, we all deserve the same inalienable rights. The United States is the only Western nation that is industrialized and has no form of universal healthcare. Those who claim they are moving elsewhere since Obamacare has been passed will end up in third world countries. Otherwise, they will be living in a land where all citizens receive their healthcare through their government. This is because these nations realize that when their citizens are healthy, they tend to be more productive. They can work longer and better. There citizens have longer life spans, while the U.S. boasts higher mortality rates. A person can die from a simple illness that could otherwise be treated if they had affordable access to healthcare. Being healthy should be a right, as it would benefit the nation to have healthier people who were more productive and able to work harder.
Obama knew this when he was developing his original idea that has turned into the ACA. He wanted to make the healthcare the Congress had accessible and affordable to all Americans. It was not nearly as good as socialized medicine, but was still a great leap forward towards the healthcare reform we need. The GOP dismantled the bill into what it is and Obama saw what good remained. He supported its passage to get some good out there, with the goal of working towards the rest later, if he could. While Obamacare is nowhere near as good as it should have been, it offers some really great protections that ensure Americans receive access to the healthcare they need. As a person with a disability I understand how essential these things are and how needed they are. Inevitably, they will, one day, benefit all Americans.
These are just some of the bonuses of the Affordable Care Act:
-Something like 70% (I cannot remember the exact percentage, but it is around there) of what you pay to your insurance company will go towards your services. Honestly, shouldn’t 100% of what we pay go to services rendered? I understand the insurance companies have to make money somehow, but not even 70% of your payment is going to insurance? This is why hospitals and doctors are so frustrated. It can take months or even years to receive payment on some services, and insurance companies continue to dick them around. Well, now they can only dick them around for 30% of what they owe for your healthcare.
-Children can remain on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. With less young people able to find jobs as easily, this is something that can help prevent unnecessary illness and death in the most promising of generations; the young, able to work crowd. Before, many had to balance work and school just to make ends meet and that may or may not include paying for insurance. Now, there is not this worry, until you are out in the work force and hopefully graduated, so you can find a job that actually offers insurance as a benefit.
-No more refusing insurance or bilking the price of insurance up for those with pre-existing conditions. This sickens me, especially when it happens to young children. No one chooses to have a pre-existing condition, so the fact insurance companies not only did this, but that it was common practice is repulsive.
-No more kicking people off of insurance when diagnosed with a chronic disease or disability. Again, the fact insurance companies did this is deplorable.
-No more caps. Some medications are ridiculously priced, as are treatments and even equipment. I get it. My wheelchairs run around $30K. A person without insurance would remain bed ridden or die if insurance did not pay for these things. Setting caps for medications that can cost thousands of dollars is unfair to patients who do not choose to have such conditions. Caps result in deaths. It is as simple as that.
Obamacare also has this thing called the individual mandate, which was upheld. People are bitching because they say it is a new tax. Call it a tax or a penalty, but the only people paying it will be those who refuse to get insurance. These are people who choose not to get it. The reason everyone needs insurance is so premiums can go down and insurance can be made accessible to everyone. We are already paying for health insurance through our taxes because we have to pay for those who go to the emergency room without insurance, who are unable to pay for their own care. Unfortunately, the fee the average American has to pay is significant. These people cause the rate of premiums to skyrocket, and because they have no insurance, instead of going to the doctor when they have illnesses like the flu or a cold, they go to the emergency room. They know they will not have to pay, so they go there, wasting not only valuable taxpayer money, but also, the time of emergency room staff who should be treating more serious illnesses and injuries.
I support socialized medicine. To me, it is not a handout or freebie. To me, it is a pathway towards independence. It allows people to have all of the healthcare, health equipment, and health treatments they need so they can worry about leading successful and productive lives. A more productive, healthier society means that more money gets made, more work is able to be done, less vacation time is taken, and more money is circulated throughout this nation (more money made equals more money spent). Socialized medicine is better for society, on the whole, and for the people in it, so they can live happier, healthier, longer lives. The Affordable Care Act is a long way from socialized medicine, but it is a step in the right direction. It helps AMERICANS and benefits us all, in one way or another. For that, we should rejoice.
[tags]Obamacare, healthcare, Obama, Affordable Care Act, Socialized Medicine, individual mandate, health care reform, legislation, President Obama[/tags]