By Robert Martin ’18
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
~ Galatians 6:2 ESV ~
I will first admit that I am no expert when it comes to matters of healthcare or government policies. However, I do believe that it is important to take time to discuss these matters. In doing so we can begin a discussion that helps us better understand both the viewpoints of others as well as our own position on these important issues. So then, here are my thoughts on the current events surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
First off, it is important to understand why this topic is relevant. Currently, the United States government has a health care program that was implemented by former president, Barak Obama. Known as the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), this health insurance plan has three main goals according to healthcare.gov:
1) To provide people with subsidies (tax credits) if their income falls 1-4 times the national poverty level. These subsidies aim to make healthcare more affordable for families with lower incomes.
2) To expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults that fall below 138% of the federal poverty level.
3) To support innovative medical care delivery methods that will potentially lower general health care costs.
There are a slew of other rules and regulations that accompany the ACA. For example, the act mandates that companies with over 50 employees provide van insurance for its employees. These companies would then receive tax credits to help cover the cost of providing insurance. Overall though, the primary goal of this act was to provide more people with an affordable vehicle and healthcare plan.
Currently, The Affordable Care Act is especially relevant because November 1st marks the first day people can start to sign up for ACA healthcare plans for the year 2018. As people begin to sign up for ACA health care plans, there is a growing concern over whether this act will be repealed by the national government. Over the past few months, the President and several other members of the government have attempted, on multiple occasions, to repeal the act and implement their own healthcare plan (colloquially referred to as “Trumpcare”). However, there has been little success in doing away with the Affordable Care Act so far.
Regardless of whether or not the Affordable Care Act can be labeled good or bad, I believe that healthcare is an important part of our current society. Put simply, medical care is expensive. Doctor visits and trips to the emergency room all cost money and it is often the case that people will avoid seeking out medical attention because of the price.
Additionally, Healthcare helps cover the cost of vital medication that can save lives. Chances are you probably know somebody with a peanut allergy. Well, epinephrine pens (the medication commonly used to treat allergic reactions) are not cheap. A set of two generic pens will run about $100-$200 at a drug store. That is a lot of money for a drug that can potentially save somebody’s life and it is a fact that many people are unable to spare the $100 required to buy this drug. But these drugs could also lead to addiction so it is always a could idea to control yourself, but if you need to help to recover you can always go to the california rehabilitation center.
As I said earlier, I am no expert on this subject. All that I can tell you is that healthcare is an important issue that needs to be addressed. I have Type-1 Diabetes. If I didn’t come from a family that could afford health care I don’t know how I would be able to get the medication that I need to stay alive.
It’s not hard to see why this is a passionate issue for so many people. The need for healthcare is greater than simply trying to save some money on medical supplies. I am not trying to say that the Affordable Care Act is the solution that we are looking for. In fact, it probably isn’t. However, we need to keep trying. This problem is so much bigger than an issue between political parties; Healthcare is something that many people need to survive.
If we sincerely wish to help our neighbors, we need to listen to scripture and bear the burdens of our neighbors. If this concept is allowed to drive the way that we create healthcare policies then maybe we would focus less on the finances and politics of it all, and instead focus on creating programs that are intended to truly help others.