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The Affordable Healthcare Debate

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The Affordable Healthcare Act is a fairly recent law encouraged by the Obama Administration, and put into motion by the House of Representatives. It ensures that by a set date, three years after the bill is passed (and after each state has accepted the law), every citizen of the United States is required to have health insurance. It was nicknamed Obamacare by people against it.

Such a large number of people were against the law that they tried to overturn it. They went to the Supreme Court on the matter and fortunately it was declared constitutional. The law has many points that are beneficial, such as getting insurance despite one’s job, age, or preexisting conditions, along with other things like requiring fast-food restaurants to provide calorie counts on their menus.

“America's health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.”
-Walter Cronkite

A big concern was getting health insurance for people working at lower-paying jobs (like fast food), that don’t provide insurance for their workers. When those people got sick, they wouldn’t go to a doctor in fear that they wouldn’t be able to cover their expenses without selling their car, home, or other property. Also, they may have gone to a doctor’s but their bills were too much for them to handle, which could have caused them to sell their items or go into debt. In both cases, said person may have died from a sickness they couldn’t get treatment for, or led a difficult life financially.

Students or young adults out of college often can’t get a job right away; that’s why it’s essential to be able to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until they’re making a steady-enough income to consider and afford their own. With “Obamacare,” young adults can stay on their family’s plan until they’re 26 years old -- old enough to find a job and take care of themselves fully.
Another important part of this law is the part that deals with preexisting conditions. For instance, when a person wanted to switch jobs, their new employer would tell them that their provided insurance policies do not cover existing conditions. So, if someone did have, say, a weak heart, they probably wouldn’t be able to accept the job. This is bad for all sides -- the person wouldn’t be able to help their family with the new job and the employer wouldn’t get a new employee. The Affordable Healthcare Act stopped insurance companies from doing this, forcing them to cover medical expenses no matter when the health problem occurred. This with help families and businesses.

One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt. (source) This means that, clearly, a large percent of Americans can’t pay for their existing medical expenses, so they’re either afraid to take on more or fear they won’t get the help they seek anyway.

A big part of the ACA deals with keeping people healthy, not just making sure they have insurance for if they fall sick. For example, the law requires that chain restaurants must list the calorie counts for each item on the menu. By doing this, people can see what’s healthier and make wiser choices in what they’re eating. The act also provides money for companies to create wellness programs for their employees. They can include stress management, exercise programs, and provide other health information. In addition, Obamacare requires insurers to cover preventive care like regular visits to the doctor’s office or physicals.

The reasons above are why I’m glad the Affordable Healthcare Act wasn’t overturned by the Supreme Court.



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