Why to care about health care

Olivia Griffin, Staff Reporter

Health care reform may not seem important now, but whether it is a family member or oneself, a time will come when medical attention is needed.

“People do not understand the health reform bill,” John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis said on his blog. “This reflects a failure all the way around on the part of the backers of the bill, critics, and the health-care media. No one’s explained how this works.”

The health care reform bill, informally known as “Obama Care”, hopes to expand coverage to the approximate 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured.

The program hopes to assist many people afford the rising expenses associated with health care. Patients with pre-existing health conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, or cancer) could receive health coverage, and the self-employed, jobless, and part-time employees would not have to worry about health insurance coverage. In addition, the bill allows more people to receive preventative care, and treatment of a problem early, before it becomes significantly worse.

However, even with all of these benefits, the citizens of America are still unsure of whether or not they agree with the reform.

“The public is still divided, mainly on partisan lines, as to whether to implement or repeal all, parts, or none of the health care reform bill,” Harris Poll Chairman Humphrey Taylor said on the Health Care Blog.

According to a Harris Interactive/Health Day poll, only 19 percent of Americans polled agreed with the new law that requires all adults to have health insurance or face a fine.

Jeffrey B. Liebman, a professor of public policy at Harvard University and an adviser in the Obama administration, predicts that this new law will have consequences that will change the health care industry within the next couple of years.

“By 2020, the American health insurance industry will be extinct,” Liebman said in his New York Times column. “Insurance companies will be replaced by accountable care organizations – groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who come together to provide the full range of medical care for patients.”

Many politicians, such as Representative Joe Baca (D) from California, believe that health care reform is a necessity.

“As President Dwight Eisenhower once said, ‘Unless we progress, we regress,’” Baca said on his website. “With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the United States has the opportunity to make historic progress toward a better future for all Americans – one where we can finally end the status quo of rising health costs and worsening care. We simply cannot afford to trample on patients’ rights and put the insurance companies back in charge.”