By Eric Hinrichsen
It cannot be denied that health care is a necessity for everyone. We all get sick, we all take medicine and we all need a little basic repair from time to time. When President Barack Obama was first running for office, reforming health care was one of his main campaign promises. His plan was to give all citizens the chance to get the coverage that they needed. Just a few months ago, he achieved his goal and got his health-care reform passed.
Personally, I feel that this new reform doesn’t cover enough. Universal health care is something that we definitely need. Canada has been working and improving its policy for the better part of 60 years.
The health-care reform takes place over time, because this is no issue that can be fixed in a day. Some measures that will help us college students have already begun to take effect and include:
– People younger than 26 are now allowed to stay under their parent’s health coverage until they are 26.
– Insurance companies cannot deny anybody under 19 with a preexisting condition.
– Insurance companies are now barred from dropping people when they get sick.
Other changes that still require some work may take up to a year or more to be put into effect, such as:
– Medicare will provide a 10 percent bonus payment to primary care physicians and general surgeons.
– A new program under the Medicaid plan for the poor goes into effect by next October that allows states to offer home and community based care for the disabled that might otherwise require institutional care.
Other parts to the reform aren’t set to take effect until 2014, such as:
– Individuals with an income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for Medicaid coverage.
– Health plans can no longer exclude people with preexisting conditions.
– Health insurance companies begin paying a fee based on their market share.
However, there are people who feel differently about all of this. Some of them are even Democrats. In an article from the Telegraph, a British newspaper, Glenn Nye, a Democratic congressman seeking re-election in November, feels otherwise: “I didn’t vote for the health- care bill because it wasn’t the right formula and I was worried about the overall cost. I was frustrated with the process and frustrated about the transparency on a couple of issues. I asked for more time for Americans to read the text and understand what was being proposed.”
I feel that this health-care initiative is a step in the right direction. We all knew that the health care reform wasn’t just going to happen overnight, and the plan that’s been spread out over the next couple years seems to have some good policies in it. We also all knew it wasn’t going to come cheap. If there is a drawback, I feel that it would be that $1 trillion is something the United States doesn’t have now. But I’m sure that when the universal health care takes full effect, it will be worth it.