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The Eagle Eye: Obamacare and You

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There’s been a lot of talk about “Obamacare” and the effects it will have on the United States, but what really is this bill and what does it mean for you?

 Well, in short, Obamacare (Officially titled: The Affordable Healthcare Act) is a reform of the healthcare system in the United States.   Currently, if one wants to purchase healthcare, they must buy a plan from a privately owned company; if they can’t afford it, then they can apply for Medicaid which is government assisted health care.

 The problem with Medicaid, however, is that it is simply too expensive for states to handle within their budget. Although The Affordable Healthcare Act is complex, at its base it is simple. The idea is to make healthcare a part of the federal government as opposed to its own private industry and to expand Medicaid.

 In the future you can choose government offered health care over privately owned health care providers. As a result, no American will be held from having health insurance; in fact, all employers in the United States will have to offer a form of health insurance as well. The goal is by 2014 all Americans will be covered or have filed for an exemption from the law. If you do not have health insurance by then you will be charged a fee. Your state should directly provide for your health coverage.

 Don’t be confused—Obamacare is not trying to eliminate private health care providers, just trying to stabilize a very confusing market in the United States and save the people money. The new rules state that insurance companies can no longer raise your rates due to age, health concerns, sex, etc., which before was a common practice among health insurance companies. Imagine how hard health insurance would be to obtain as a 70 year old man who smokes and has heart disease; with Obamacare, this is a thing of the past.

 With Obamacare, you can stay on your parents’ health plan until you’re 26, All future plans will include preventive care and essential health benefits, you can’t be dropped or denied coverage for any reason, and instantly tens of millions of people will have access to affordable health insurance that they need. All Americans will contribute roughly an equal amount so that everyone can be insured.

There are some cons however. Obamacare focuses on being covered mainly rather than the affordability of the coverage, as a result insurance premiums have rose for private companies due to them being forced to cover all people, even those that will be an expense to them. By 2015 all employers with over 50 employees MUST provide health care, as a result many employers are cutting jobs down to part time so that they can afford the change which means less money in people’s pockets.

 With insurance premiums rising and all the jobs becoming part time, many are concerned that The Affordable Healthcare Act may not be so affordable. People who are sick and sure to die can no longer be turned down; meaning health insurance companies MUST pay for their treatment no matter how expensive or useless the treatment is. Many people are also losing the current coverage that they already have and are happy with, in exchange for new health plans they know little to nothing about.

 The Affordable Healthcare Act is not to be in full swing until 2022, so much time for debate is available. Most of the major parts of the bill are to be effective by 2014 however, and the rush to appeal the bill is on for those that oppose it. The more we understand about this very complex bill, the better a choice we can make as informed citizens of a country instead of just letting others make decisions for us blindly. Check out for more information—after all, this does directly affect all Americans.

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The student news site of Aberdeen High School
The Eagle Eye: Obamacare and You