Let’s Talk About Healthcare: Can We Keep the Affordable Care Act?

Author: Elizabeth Zarb, Current Events/Politics

Everyone seems to be talking about healthcare. And they should be, and you should be, too. This bill will have an effect on millennials, but how?

Let’s break this down… with some help from The New York Times. 

The Affordable Care Act, nicknamed “Obamacare,” was passed in 2010 and allowed more Americans to be covered by health insurance for lower rates, and encouraged all Americans to get health insurance before they got sick. While the act definitely had some flaws, the intention behind it was to make sure that everyone had health care. One of the biggest topics during the election debates was how each candidate planned on improving Obamacare.

Since Obamacare was enacted, a lot of Republicans have wanted it removed, mainly due to the fact that in order to afford Obamacare, richer Americans are being taxed heavier. During the election process, Donald Trump made it clear that he wanted Obamacare repealed. As he transitioned into power, the repeal was one of the first things he set in motion.

The bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act would reduce Medicaid and would allow insurance companies to turn away more people with “preexisting conditions,” which is quite the opposite of what Obamacare is all about. No one should be turned away from healthcare, but evidently that is a difficult concept for people to grasp. 

However, repealing the Affordable Care Act may not be in the best interest for Americans, as it was just revealed that repealing the act would cause 22 million Americans to become uninsured by 2026. Twenty-two. Million. Americans. Oh boy.

Many senators have come forward saying that should the bill to repeal Obamacare reach the Senate, they would vote against it. Senator Rand Paul stated “it’s worse to pass a bad bill than no bill.”

The choice now is to either withdraw the bill so that it can be improved upon, or keep it in so that it will inevitably be destroyed.

This begs the question — what can be done to improve Obamacare? Is it maintainable? Is it broken, or does it not need to be fixed? Does it beat the proposed alternative? Because the current plan seems to be causing more harm than good. It’s up to Trump and his administration to figure out a happy medium, so that Obamacare can be repaired while millions of Americans still get to keep their health insurance.

How will the proposed alternative, if passed, affect millennials? Well, many of us also have pre-existing conditions just like members of other generations. But that’s not the least of it. If millennials don’t purchase health insurance because the cost is just too high, when there is actually a medical problem that requires attention, we won’t be able to pay for treatment. Obamacare required the purchase of health insurance, and as a result, millennial medical debt decreased by 20% since 2010.

If the proposed alternative is passed, that figure has the potential to rise. We’ll be back in debt. We’ll be shopping for poor quality options. And worst of all, we won’t be healthy.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Life is a Pre-Existing Condition

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

After yesterday,  it’s a bit easier to imagine what the victims of the Titanic sinking must have felt in those final hours before the ship went down.

The lives of the privileged were seen as being more important, and while they were led to safety, thousands of middle and lower class passengers were sentenced to die. Thanks to the GOP Healthcare Vote in the House of Representatives yesterday, unless you’re a member of Congress who can afford to not be concerned, someone close to you will be negatively affected by this bill should it become law if passed by the Senate.

And while whether or not that happens is still up in the air, there are a number of truly chilling things to consider when analyzing today’s events, and the fact that 24 million people could lose their health insurance. Among the most frightening revelations from today…

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Republicans Care About Their Family, But Not Yours
Proverbs 31:6-7: Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.

That’s right, the solution Republican lawmakers have spent seven years writing is not good enough for themselves, as there’s a provision in the repeal that exempts members of Congress from the law. Let that sink in.. we elected these people and the best they can come up with isn’t good enough for themselves?

Also, tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans were included. Not to mention the fact that in several interviews with House Republicans today, many admitted to not even reading the bill in its entirety. If our elected officials have the work ethic of a high school English student hoping to fake their way through a Shakespeare quiz, they don’t deserve to be in office, and certainly shouldn’t have the audacity to put the lives of 99% of the population in jeopardy.

And while I should point out that there were several Republicans who voted against the bill today, the face that a leading political group voted to legalize blocking preventative healthcare should have us very, very worried.

The GOP and Trump Lied About the Repeal.. Over and Over Again
Jeremiah 30:17: For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast.

How many times did we hear Trump say that he would come up with the biggest, Hugest replacement for the “disaster” of Obamacare?

While the Affordable Care Act was far from perfect, this repeal will cause 24 million Americans to lose coverage, while opening the door for millions more who will, due to the provisions surrounding pre-existing conditions and the state by state market places that would be set up. Even this week, Trump proclaimed that his bill would keep the provision to prevent insurance companies from discriminating patients based on pre-existing conditions, but as evidenced by today’s vote and the beer-fest by Republicans afterwards, Paul Ryan and Trump celebrated at and toasted their “victory.”

Perhaps the most tragic part about today is that there are millions of hard-working Trump supporters who were promised protection and cheaper insurance premiums, only to be tricked by Trump, who cares about no one but the wealthy cronies he can rely on to perpetuate his brand and image as a success.

Let’s Talk About Pre-Existing ConditionsC_BqOshXYAAN18F.jpg
Matthew 14:14: When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

The list of “pre-existing” conditions is truly sickening (no pun intended). Many are hereditary and completely un-preventable (including hemophilia, high cholesterol, asthma, celiac disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). Other pre-existing conditions are directly related to mental health, including eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia, schizophrenia, anxiety, OCD, panic disorders and seasonal affective disorder.

This decision is a death sentence for anyone who develops chronic illness, including a multitude of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, HIV, asthma, gout, cardiac issues, and the list goes on and on.

How can a group of people who preach family values require pregnant women to pay more for health insurance? How can a largely Christian group of men prey on individuals that are already marginalized due to their socioeconomic status, mental state, race, sexual orientation/gender identity and how are victims of domestic assault and rape being punished?

Essentially, Congress has made being a woman a pre-existing condition. And as Jimmy Kimmel shared this week, a baby born with a heart disorder or other chronic disease faces the possibility of never getting health insurance. Explain how that is “pro-life.”

Let me say it again. Unless you are a member of Congress, you WILL be affected if this repeal is enacted by the Senate. Depending on where you live, if you or your loved ones experience any of these conditions, your healthcare will skyrocket. And remember, getting laid off or becoming unable to work could become a death sentence.

Our lives depend on fighting this together.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz

Trumpcare…The Uncertain Future of America’s Healthcare System

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

“What did I do? I did my job. I slashed benefits to the bone; I saved this company money. Was I too harsh? Maybe. I don’t believe in coddling people.”

No, that wasn’t from a U.S. Congress member discussing whether or not to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That was from a 2005 episode of The Office, when Dwight Schrute is given the responsibility of picking a healthcare plan for Dunder Mifflin’s employees. It sounds like something that politicians — especially lately — would actually say though, right?

The recent healthcare debate that’s permeated the American political landscape has not felt far away from the antics of Dwight — matters of life and death have been used as polarizing political pawns in an era of great uncertainty for not only the future of the Affordable Care Act, but for our identity as a nation.

The ideological differences between those both for and against the Affordable Care Act (ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, which was based on Romneycare in Massachusetts), could not have been more clean than in Wednesday night’s CNN-sponsored debate, entitled “The Future of Healthcare.”

The debate featured 2016 presidential runner-ups Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, who spoke for over an hour and a half on policy and the heart of the divide when it comes to healthcare. To their credit, that was all they talked about — there were no personal jabs, mention of grabbing genitalia, or enhancement of body parts. It sadly was a refreshing reminder of how a political debate is supposed to be.

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There were even instances of compromise — an almost forgotten concept recently — with both men agreeing that there is no reason prescriptions that can be purchased cheaper from other countries can’t be brought to America, and that wait-time for drug approval by the FDA can be cut down. They also expressed their joint disdain of insurance companies who care more about profits than patients.

Now to their differences, and to the divide amongst many Americans.

Ted Cruz wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and give Americans choices when it comes to their healthcare by providing an open marketplace amongst private insurance companies. Bernie Sanders argued for as single-payer system, similar to those in Canada and much of Europe, where healthcare is a right of every person, regardless of income and preexisting conditions.

Sanders was challenged on the struggle small businesses face to provide insurance for their employees, while Cruz had to answer to what Republicans plan to replace the ACA with, what happens to people with preexisting conditions, and whether or not birth control will be covered.

Turns out, a single-payer system, while it would cause increased taxes, would allow people with current and unknown preexisting conditions to maintain coverage, would not label all women as having a preexisting condition because of their potential to have a baby, and would promise that all Americans have access to decent care.

While promising to be a friend to small businesses and provide a wider variety of healthcare plans, private-based insurance — at least in the plans set out thus far by this Congress as a replacement of the ACA — fail to guarantee that average Americans will be able to afford them. And the lack of a solid plan is what is frightening.

Bottom line: healthcare is personal. No system is perfect. But surely, having no plan is deadly, for all of us.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.