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The Obama Administration has made vast promises about the potential successes of the Affordable Care Act, but if the failed launch is any precursor of what is to come, should our nation be worried? The program creates a system in which people are legally required to either enroll in an insurance plan or pay to opt out, but forcing someone to pay doesn’t sound like the ‘land of the free’ to me. If our government could force someone into buying insurance, what other powers can the government have? When the program was initially launched it was pretty easily recognized that there was more than simple design flaws present in the program, such as the failure for people to enroll and concerns of insurance companies possibly using backdoor methods to limit the ill to certain procedure and medications. The President simply asked the country to give the Affordable Care Act more time, a simple request for a very complex issue. However, major corporations would never launch a program or product without adequately testing and surveying the implications and outcomes on multiple levels, so maybe the program is flawed and can’t be fixed.
The Affordable Care Act is also very confusing to the majority of the people who try to understand it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is already itself a lengthy statute but is also accompanied by roughly 10,000 pages of complex regulations. Making the problems and flaws difficult to assess and fix. How is someone supposed to sell or distribute the information of the program when they can’t even fully understand what the act entails?
This program is designed to help people afford healthcare by creating affordable insurance for all, however it is only truly helping that of the impoverished population because they are getting the insurance coverage for cheap. Meanwhile, someone with a stable lower middle income worker is getting charged significantly more for the lowest of the insurance plans in which hardly anything is covered. The Affordable Care Act makes it seem like once purchased that everything is available to that person who purchased it, which isn’t true. I have witnessed a situation where a person close to me has had to pay about two hundred dollars a month for the lowest of the coverages and all that the plan includes is a physical examination,. Another down side is the large deductible payment that it requires before being able to seize these benefits. This is an issue that I have seen with my parents paying for college tuition. My mother and father have four kids all of which are either in college or about to start. However, my parents are middle class and make just enough to not qualify for any help for tuition from the government and have to pay everything in full. It makes no sense to penalize someone who has worked hard to achieve what they have and make them pay more whereas someone else is getting it for barely anything. A lower middle class worker, pays about two hundred dollars a month for the most basic of the coverage plans, while someone with a more impoverished income can pay as low as sixty bucks a month or lower for a higher coverage plan. How does it make sense to steal from the middle class to give to the poor?
We should be able to study the flaws of other countries healthcare systems and try to avoid the mistakes that they have made. The Presidents program has promised to “revolutionize” healthcare today by providing services that are easily accessible to everyone, this is something that has been tried around the world in various forms, and not one program has been completely successful. For example, in China almost all of the major medical facilities are run by the government. In post-1980 the country underwent a huge collapse in the healthcare system after economic reforms were implemented. The government controls the prices of the procedures and the obstacles of getting to see a physician are tough. How do we expect people to want to go into medicine when they aren’t going to get paid properly for their hard work? Doctors get paid a lot because the road that they have to take is not doable by most, and they should get rewarded for that. The Affordable Care Act is a flawed program that has many complex issues that time itself won’t be able to fix.
Karen Trejo is a Downey resident and Public Health Science major from UC Irvine.
Published: July 24, 2014 – Volume 13 – Issue 15