Obamacare needs revision, not repealment


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President Barack Obama worked for 14 months to get the Affordable Care Act passed in an attempt to bring universal healthcare to America.

Leea Ivanel, Staff Writer

“We are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right.”

These were the words of Senator Bernie Sanders, discussing the deplorable state of healthcare in America, a country who claims to be the leader of the world.

America’s healthcare system is broken. Not only does America pay higher prices for drugs than other developed countries, but it also spends more per person on healthcare than other high-income nations, while having the lowest life expectancy and some of the least successful treatments.

However, the biggest controversy as of late with the U.S.’s health issues is the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, passed on March 21, 2010.

The aim of Obamacare was to implement a universal healthcare system under which everyone would have insurance, regardless of financial situation or pre-existing conditions, such as cancer. It also extended Medicaid and Medicare, two national social insurance programs aiding the elderly and the poor.

The truth is, Obamacare was neither a picture-perfect fantasy, nor was it hell unleashed upon the Earth, as members of either the Democratic and Republican parties claimed.

Obamacare was a shaky, necessary first step in the right direction.

The Affordable Care Act achieved its goal of enrolling 289,900,000 U.S. citizens for insurance, while also allowing individuals with pre-existing conditions to get healthcare, something which was not possible before. It also placed mandates on the minimum amount of coverage insurances had to provide and removed insurance caps.

The Act also didn’t fix all of America’s problems — far from it. Under Obamacare the price of both drugs and insurance continued to rise, sometimes so high there was barely even a point in having insurance.

My uncle, for example, had insurance through Obamacare before he got stage four cancer and had to be hospitalized for a week. Despite having insurance he got bills worth hundreds of thousands of dollars simply for being hospitalized and thousands more for the emergency surgery, which were only partially covered by his insurance.

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Now, unable to work due to his illness and with his wife in college, he’s left with unpayable expenses both from surgery and for the drugs which keep him alive, which again cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, even with insurance.

In short, while Obamacare did do some good things, it wasn’t exactly the savior of the healthcare system — there are many people and families whose needs are not yet being met.

Still, that does not mean that the Act should be repealed and replaced with a completely new plan, as President-elect Donald Trump proposed. While Trump promised healthcare for everyone, his outlining of how he will do this was vague at best, saying things such as, “lower numbers, much lower deductibles,” and, “It’ll be another plan. But they’ll [the people] be beautifully covered.”

Completely throwing away Obamacare, who took 14 months to pass, would be a huge step back for America — most likely one that would once again leave many without insurance and unable to get medical help.