The day that the United States Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, I was expecting the worse and the end of hope for millions like me. After seeing the conservatively controlled court delivered several rulings that reflected what I believed was their partisanship, I expected the justices to throw the health care bill out on a 5-4 ruling.
So I was very happy to see Chief Justice John Roberts come out of the conservative fold and show that he was more than just a partisan player but someone who saw the need that was spread out over America; families hanging on the edge because of a health care crisis, along with the financial devastation it caused in its wake.
There are three different reasons why most Americans don’t have health care:
- They can’t afford it. (Which is the reason why I don’t have health care)
- They have pre-existing conditions that have made it difficult to get coverage.
- They’re young and healthy and don’t think they need it.
The only group in these three who should have any problem with the mandate to buy insurance is number 3; they’re young and healthy and don’t think they need it. The remaining groups have every reason to be happy about the Supreme Court’s historical ruling.
Still, I’m positive there will be those who the health care bill will obviously benefit but will be unhappy because they don’t actually know what the bill provides to them and they’ve been mislead by conservative partisan rhetoric instead of the facts.
There are two aspects of the Affordable Care Act that have caused the greatest concern; the health insurance mandate and the Independent Advisory Board, also known as “The Death Panel”.
The 15-member Independent Advisory Board has only one job which is to adjust ways to limit Medicare cost. It does not decide anything on anyone’s individual’s health care and it is not allowed to ration care. On top of that, it can be overruled by Congress. There is nothing about it that makes it an actual Death Panel as it has been described by some conservatives.
What I think will happen within the next couple of years, as more of the law begins to take effect, more Americans will start understanding more about it. That means the truth about it and not the misinformation about the bill that has been circulating since the health care bill was signed into law by President Obama.
Will the bill’s mandate cause some financial hardship for some Americans? Certainly, but I’m also assured that it will also end the devastation that the lack of health insurance has caused millions of Americans over the course of the last few decades.
The Affordable Care Act is not perfect. It was passed through Congress with a great amount of opposition and it has been demonized a great deal since then. It needs work and maybe it’s possible, the Congress will decide there’s a better way to pay for it besides the mandate, which is disliked by so many. A better way would be a single-payer system which would be paid for through taxes and the cost would be held down, thanks to eliminating the health insurance industry’s involvement.
I’m not counting on the health insurance industry being cut out of the makeup of our health care system anytime soon, as I know they have a very powerful lobby in Washington. Hopefully with the competitiveness that the health insurance exchanges will bring through implication of the law, this will help drive down cost also.
What is important is that we as a country have stepped up and done something serious about health care in this country; not only because the overwhelming cost was well on its way to destroying our economy, but because tens of millions of Americans had no health care at all, and those who did had limited care.
It is the end to denial of health care; it is an end to a cap on lifetime benefits. Preventive medicine will play a bigger role in managing the health care of this nation. We moved forward America, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.