And the Affordable Care Act Lives On

A few months ago, when the solicitor general was arguing in favor of the Affordable Care Health in front of the nine Supreme Court Justice, I felt, as did many others, that Obama’s signature health-care law was doomed. The justices, other than the four usually liberal ones, had stern questions regarding the bill, including Chief Justice John Roberts, who continually questioned whether or not the federal government has the power to make people buy health insurance.By 2014, the bill will require that 30 million uninsured people buy insurance, and if they can’t afford it, they will be a given a tax credit/government subsidies to do so.

When I learned of the ruling today, I was shocked, especially since Roberts was the one who joined four liberal justices in voting to uphold all of the law. My hunch is that Roberts does not want to be on the wrong side of history. Another health-care bill is not going to be discussed, not with the government as divided and partisan as it is. I think Roberts and the other four justices that voted to uphold the law realized this could be the only shot in a long, long time at revamping and improving our health-care system and granting health-care coverage to millions of more Americans.

Shortly after the court’s ruling, Mitt Romney got on TV and vowed to repeal the bill if elected president. However, that likely won’t happen. He would need at least 60 votes in the Senate to get that, and it won’t happen, especially if the Dems maintain control of the Senate. Romney also doesn’t have much room to rail against the law, since he passed the same exact thing in MA when he was governor, and said  in 2006 that the mandate should be the model for the rest of the country.

President Obama still has a lot of work to do explaining to the American people what is in the bill and how it impacts them. Here are some positives of the law:

Young people can stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26.

Insurance companies will not be able to deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

Women will no longer pay higher premiums than men.

Seniors will get discounts on their prescription drugs.

About 30 million uninsured people will have to buy insurance by 2014, when the mandate kicks in, and if they can’t afford it, they will be given a tax credit/government subsidies to do so.

I was not a fan of the mandate back in 2010, and I wanted the Democrats to push for a public option, but I understand that this is a first step, and by 2014, millions of American will be insured. I am also optimistic that a lot of states will go to single-payer, nearly universal healthcare coverage. I say this because the law states that by 2016, states can set up whatever healthcare systems they want, and they don’t have to create a pool of just private insurance companies. Vermont and Montana are nearing creating a single-payer system, and it is predicted to save the states a lot of money. If it succeeds there, it will most likely spread to other states.

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About Brian Fanelli

I'm a poet, teacher, music junkie and much more. My first chapbook of poems, Front Man, was published in 2010 by Big Table Publishing. My full-length book of poems, All That Remains, was published in 2013 by Unbound Content. My latest book, Waiting for the Dead to Speak, was published in the fall of 2016 by NYQ Books. My work has also been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, Harpur Palate, Boston Literary Magazine, Kentucky Review, Verse Daily, Spillway, Portland Review, and several other publications. My poetry has also been featured on "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor. Currently, I teach English full-time at Lackawanna College.
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4 Responses to And the Affordable Care Act Lives On

  1. Good post there BF, reason to celebrate but I’d see this as a half fast track celebration: this thang is transitional at its best— even in the big O’s own wds. when pressed back in 2010 in fact ” to perhaps ease us on in… to the universal public option and that is where the Demos and any all socially “bent” alternate “parties shld push the envelope outward to temper the Pubs’ rant from here on in…

    • When the health-care law was being debated over and over again in 2010, I had hoped for a public option, and I still think one should have been passed. However, maybe Obama knew it would never happen, especially since the Democrats lost Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate shortly before the full bill was passed, so they didn’t have enough votes at the time. However, I am optimistic that once states really start following this law, some of them will opt to create more a single-payer system. It would save the states and taxpayers a lot of money. I guess we’ll have to see.

  2. BTW checked out the new hooka bar/ coffee shop, The RedLion on South near West corner w/ sWashington yesterday — most ideal so far in terms of size and layout and they’re also open til 1AM M thru Sat. Of course they are game to the idea of venuing local poetry reading series!

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