However, many people (including ME), have some problems with the new law. What are they?
What is Obamacare?
Obamacare is a new plan for health care in the United States in which the government is aiming to cover more people (mostly people who cannot afford health insurance now) and to try to spread the costs among more people.
How is the government planning to do this?
In order to cover people who cannot currently afford health insurance, the new law will allow these people to have access to Medicaid (government program for health care).
The law also states that people who can afford health insurance are not required to purchase it from an insurance company but if they do not, there would be a small penalty. This was commonly referred to as the “Individual Mandate.”
Why did this law have to be decided by the Supreme Court?
Some people have argued that the Individual Mandate is not Constitutional, or it is not allowed by the United States Constitution. If passed, Obamacare would give the government the power to place a penalty on anything, effectively “forcing” people to buy something.
What was the result?
The Supreme Court (highest court in America) ruled by a vote of 5-4 that Obamacare is in fact Constitutional. Actually, they said that the penalty was NOT allowable under the Constitution but instead, it could be called a “tax” which the government has the power to enforce.
There are some other things in the law but those are the main points. Like most issues in America, this one is divided among the citizens. In the latest polls, about half the people support Obamacare but the other half are against it.
Here are some pros (advantages) and cons (disadvantages):
• 32 million more people will get access to health care
• Insurance companies cannot deny anyone coverage for pre-existing conditions
• Parents can put their children up to age 26 on their plans
• Companies with over 50 people are required to offer health insurance to their employees
• New taxes, penalties, and fees for companies will discourage them from growing and hiring new employees
• Many hospitals and doctors will refuse Medicaid patients because of the regulations and extra costs
• The government will have the power to force its citizens to buy anything it likes basically giving them unlimited taxing power
So, what do YOU think?
The main questions to consider are:
1. Should the government have the power to tax the citizens in order for more people to gain access to the health care system?
2. Is health care a human right?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Vocabulary for Practice:
- Affordable Care Act
- Supreme Court
- to be referred to as
- Individual Mandate
- to argue
- to enforce
- to be divided among
- to be against (something)
- pros and cons
- to deny
- pre-existing conditions
- to discourage
- to refuse
- taxing power