So there has been a lot of talk about this Affordable Care Act more commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” In the U.S., it is a very polarizing topic. (In case you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a very basic description.) Basically, everyone has to have health insurance; if you can’t afford it, you get subsidies to help attain it, but if you are well enough off to be able to afford it, in most cases, the costs skyrocketed. (Let’s not forget that if you chose to not get any sort of health insurance, that you will be penalized on your yearly income taxes.)
See how it can be a hot topic for debate?! Personally, I agree with the basic idea behind it. Everyone deserves health care. I don’t agree that people were forced into this and the tax penalties. (Doesn’t the IRS get enough of our money?) Also, this bill was so highly contested in the Senate/Congress, that there was no time to actually plan for its approval and set up the necessities for such a huge change in the nation.
The uninsured population before this bill was passed, was/ is staggering. The websites set up for enrolling were constantly overloaded and personally, I was kicked off multiple times only to have to start my application all over again. (There were a couple times I felt like throwing my computer across the room.)
There weren’t enough available doctors to be able to take on the influx of patients. Any clinics that were accepting new patients filled up fast. Most people had to sign up at “Urgent Care centers” that seem to be popping up everywhere and have staff with questionable credentials (that’s a whole other post in itself, stay tuned for that one!).
Once all the chaos of people signing up before the deadline calmed down, things have been pretty smooth on the insurance end. For the most part, the Affordable Care Act is functioning the way it should. People who otherwise wouldn’t be able to see a doctor, are able to get the care they need.
But there needs to be reform. For those who were already insured, or wealthy enough to afford private insurance, their quality of care far exceeds those who were low-income and qualified for the Medicare/ Medicaid systems. (Single payer health insurance would be ideal, but that would empty the pockets of big healthcare and big pharma.)
Every citizen of this country deserves basic health. If we keep our population sick, we can’t progress as a nation. Keeping people down is a recipe for disaster.