» ronniesia reed – rreed24@my.apsu.edu

Health insurance is something every American should have. In some cases it can be hard to obtain health insurance, and who really wants to pay those medical bills on their own?

In March 2010, President Obama’s healthcare reform bill was passed by Congress. The Affordable Care Act has become the center of controversy between Democrats and Republicans. As students, it can be hard to take care of ourselves, especially when you think of things like paying for insurance. With this healthcare act, children can be insured through their parents until 26.

According to healthcare.gov, the plan for this act is to put individuals in control of their insurance by making it a requirement for health insurance companies to accept anybody, even people with pre-existing medical conditions. Think of the people who are sick and cannot get insurance because of it. That isn’t fair to them; those who are ill should be treated just as people who are not.

The problem Republicans are having with this bill is the mandate which requires all Americans to have health insurance by 2014. According to USAToday.com, Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have vowed to repeal the law, saying the federal government is exceeding its authority.

The law will be going to court with 26 states opposing it. “These issues are really central to whether the federal government can regulate anything it wants to, or whether there are some things that only the state governments can regulate,” Paul Clement, a lawyer who opposes the bill, said.

As Americans, none of us want to feel as though we can be controlled by our government, but there are some cases where it is better for the government to come in and regulate. If it were not for this bill, some of us would have to continue taking the risk of becoming sick with no insurance and no coverage in unexpected situations. Those who are already sick would have to continue suffering with no help.

When people who are uninsured have high medical bills that are not paid, insurance rates go up. With everyone having insurance, it will keep rates equal and fair. According to CNN.com, those who violate the mandate will have to pay a $700 fine.

According to President Obama, “Unless everybody does their part, many of the insurance reforms we seek — especially requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions — just can’t be achieved.” According to CBSNews.com, if the mandate is struck down, the court will consider going on with the bill without the mandate being a part of it. This will basically make the bill unnecessary because cancelling the mandate cancels the main goal of making insurance more accessible and affordable to everyone.

The overall focus of the reform bill is to help people get access to better healthcare. People do not realize this because they are more focused on the small picture and not wanting to be under the control of the government. If this is an example of the government controlling the people, it is a small one because it is helping them. In the long run, the ACA will benefit lots of people financially and medically. TAS