Obamacare And Obamacare and Sick Around America
“The Affordable Care Act”
One of the most concise and profound explanation of the Obamacare was a video published by the Kaiser Health Reform Source (2010) in YouTube. The video started by enumerating the current problems of the system. First money, because most of people believe that availing health insurance is expensive. The second problem is the fact that the system itself is full of holes (e.g. people with pre-existing health conditions) can be turned down by the insurance health company. The last problem concerns the growing number of American people affected by different sickness. Combining these three problems, Obama passed the Affordable Care Act. This Act also referred as the “Obamacare” is an attempt of the government to solve the existing problems of the American health care system. This Act does not only aim to make the health care affordable to constituents but to transform radically the mode of delivery and payment of health care (Battistella 622). According to Kaiser’s Health Reform Source (2010), 3 out of 10 Americans believe that the health care reform will make us better off. However, a similar ratio says the reform will make us worse off, and the same ratio contends it will not make much difference.
The Obamacare can be hardly considered liberal because it does not aaccentuate the interest of free and autonomous individuals. As a matter of fact, the Act obliged the institutions, big and small, to cover health insurance of their employees. Further, depending on their salary, employees are expected to pay certain amount of money for their insurance premium. This aspect of the Act does not make it liberal, because annual contribution is mandatory. On the other hand, the Act is not also libertarianism, because it highlights the importance of the government. The government served as the central player of the whole provision of the Act – from its crafting to implementation. However, looking at the effects of the Act to the majority of the American population, Obamacare can be considered socialism. Socialism is the belief that the means, distribution, and exchange of production should be regulated and owned by the community. Whilst the regulation is controlled by the government, the Act highlights the importance of fair distribution of production to all members of the community. For instance, even the jobless can now avail health insurance or can enjoy equal health care opportunities with the working class.
Due to its socialist nature, the Act can be best explained using the social justice theory of John Rawls. Rawls equated “justice” with “fairness”. Greiff (2011) claims that “justice is nothing more than the possibility of having stable institutions and of living productive life or through stringent conditionalities”. Thu, justice can be viewed as an equal opportunity to live a productive life despite political and economic conditionalities. On the other hand, fairness is always intertwined with the word “equality” – the amount of work done equals equivalent rewards. Rawls contended that to attain social order, justice must be served. Given the socialist nature of the Act, Obamacare can be considered as an attempt of the government to attain social order because of its objective to make health insurance affordable. Regardless of the economic and health condition of a person, all Americans are entitled to avail health insurance. Everyone should be fair.
Although there are still lapses in the Act, Obamacare is a good solution if given an ample to address its loopholes. Even today, many Americans are starting to reap the benefits and promising provisions of the Act. The PBS Frontline Report is a good source to better understand how the system works. It shows audience collection of work conditions and health stories in different parts of America. The presence of pundits for each case discussed helped the readers to grasp the major principles and concepts of Obamacare. It covered real-life experiences of Americans in different ages, work conditions, and health conditions.
The first benefit is the admission to health care insurance regardless of the person’s pre-existing condition (Battistella 622). One of the cases covered by the PBS Frontline Report is the case of Paul Stevens. Steven was a former manager who lost his job due to economic recession. Under the provision of the Act, anyone who loses his/her job also loses the healthcare insurance offered by the company. In his case, he is still entitled to his health insurance for 18 months, provided that he pays the premium amount. Due to the expensive amount, Stevens preferred to look for private health insurance provider. Unfortunately, his application was denied because of his history of diabetes. This is a common problem that most Americans encounter in private health insurance providers. Under ObamaCare, Stevens could have enjoyed health insurance, regardless of his pre-existing condition, if he did not lose his job.
The second benefit of the Act is that the children can enjoy their parent’s health care plan up to 26 years old (Battistella 622). This was tackled in Matthew’s case – a 23-year old student who had a health crisis. The doctor gave him powerful yet expensive drugs, which he could not afford without his parent’s health insurance. Thus, upon exceeding the age limit, Matthew decided to look for a job to suffice his medical needs. Hence, one pundit commented that the Act, somehow, pushed young people to find their own job.
Another benefit of Obamacare is the restriction against lifetime and annual coverage limit and dropping sick employees. This means that an employee can enjoy utmost health benefits under the Act. The first case in the video tackled the story of Mrs. Williams who was rushed into the hospital due to bleeding on the fourth month of her pregnancy. She was confined for months and delivered a pre-mature baby. Hence, their hospital expenses ballooned as the baby recovers at the hospital’s intensive healthcare unit. Fortunately, Mrs. Williams’ husband works at Microsoft – a generous company that covers most of the Williams’ hospital bills. Mrs. Williams also thanked the efficiency of healthcare service and effectiveness of drug and facilities used by the hospital. This is another promising future that awaits American people under the Obamacare.
Obamacare indeed has lapses to be addressed in the future, but it does not mean that the presence of loopholes is a signatory of its weakness. For instance, according to Obamacare’s provision, all employees are entitled to avail health insurance. However, Cooper (2013) emphasized the importance of taking into consideration the different situation of part-time vs regular faculty members. Whilst the latter gets regular rate, part-time instructors do not. Further, they do not enjoy pension nor job security. The law requires all employees working an average of 30 hours to be covered by the health insurance. Thus, to exclude the adjuncts or part-time instructors, some schools intended to cut some courses taught by them. This was seen reprehensible, however, schools contended that the Obamacare “imposes a heavy financial burden on schools at a time when publicly funded ones, in particular, are coping with budget cuts” (Cooper 14). This is a clear manifestation that the problem does not only lie in the provision but also the growing budget deficits in education. In other words, if all institutions work hand in hand, Obamacare will surely give benefits to employers and employees.
Battistella, Roger. Obamacare: Miscalculated Assurances. The Cancer Journal 16 (6): 622-628, 2010. Print.
Cooper, Kenneth. The Obamacare Dilemma. Diverse Education, 2013. Print.
Greiff, Pablo. On Sequences and Linkages: the Relationship between Justice, Security and Development. International Center for Transitional Justice, 2011. Print.
Kaiser’s Health Reform Source. Health Reform Explained Video: Health Reform Hits Main Street. YouTube, 2010. Web.
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