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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Obamacare deserves a chance

    After the Supreme Court voted to uphold the Affordable Care Act, non-supporters claimed nationalized health care would increase our already devastating national debt and that it’s unconstitutional to penalize those who don’t purchase health insurance.

    But as the saying goes, “Don’t knock it till you try it.”

    Presidents like Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were all strong proponents of nationalized healthcare. When Obama signed the ACA into law in March 2010 it gave an estimated 3.1 million young adults, 69,000 of whom reside in Arizona, health care coverage thanks to the bill stating that people under the age of 26 can remain on their parents’ health plans. It also protectes consumers from enduring unwarranted premium increases by large insurance companies. The bill also has saved individuals on Medicare a total of $65,803,605 in savings on prescription drugs from a rebate component of the bill. These statistics are only a fraction of the benefits that the Department of Health and Services has calculated for our state alone since the ACA was signed into law.

    Many questioned the constitutionality of the reform and as of last week, the Supreme Court ruled it fair and just. The changes Obama has made in our health care system will remain intact and by 2013, new changes will be set in place as well. As of April 2012, close to 3,000 Arizona residents were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing conditions such as asthma, diabetes, birth defects, orthopedic problems, leukemia, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. Now, they will all be insured. Because of the newly expanded coverage, preventive health care will likely become a more common practice. When ignored, small medical issues often become large, chronic problems that end up costing Americans and insurance companies billions annually.

    All Americans are required to buy health insurance, which may sound like the government over stepping its boundaries. But in reality, it will be cheaper, especially for individuals who make less than $9,500 a year and receive free health care. The national poverty line for a family of four in 2010 was just over $22,000. Economists report that 15.1 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line that same year, the highest in our nation’s history.

    For those living above the poverty line, specific income levels equate to the amount heath care will cost them. There is a special penalty tax collected by the IRS for those who don’t comply with new reform and is more expensive than just buying health insurance through the government in the first place.

    The reform also covers those who have endured hardships, members of Native American tribes and special religious groups who also are exempt from Social Security due to religious beliefs. Those that have not suffered hard economic times will allow those less fortunate to receive proper care and create a stronger and healthier nation over all.

    Because the ACA is recognized as Obama’s premier initiative in his first term as our country’s leader, political opponents have been doing everything in their power for the past two years to discredit the bill. This is especially true now that it is an election year. Keeping this in mind, one should not allow party politics to sway him or her self from the truth: Nationalized health care works. Let’s help the people out.

    — Max Efrein is a junior studying journalism and history. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

    Perspectives editor Courtney L’Ecuyer contributed reporting.

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