When historic health care reform passed last March, we were able to take a step back and look at what was wrong with the bill and what was right with it. I am of the persuasion that the bill was, overall, a good thing. But there is still more work to be done for America’s future.
Looking at the good things first, we’ll remember that this bill eliminated pre-existing conditions as qualifiers for obtaining health insurance.
This is extraordinary in itself, as many Americans do have pre-existing conditions that range from cancer bleeding disorders, asthma, diabetes or possibly even just constant diarrhea.
That rules out a lot of Americans when you think about it.
This bill also allowed students and young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until they are 26 years old, which means that we don’t have to worry about insurance until all of our school is done. With more demanding academic standards across the disciplines, most of us don’t get out of school in the planned four years anymore.
Now, finally we get to the meaty, more controversial part of the bill. When 2014 rolls around, everyone will be mandated to have insurance. If they don’t have insurance, they will pay a possible fine in taxes.
This is where students should beg to differ. This was the wrong way to go about the system. Not because everyone shouldn’t have insurance, but because this bill did not put limits on premiums. This bill did not put a public option for people who cannot afford the insurance that was mandated to them.
It is interesting that in 1994 the Newt Gingrich Republicans proposed this same idea as an alternative to Bill Clinton’s universal idea, and now they say it is the worst thing that could happen to this country.
The Republicans don’t want you to be healthy for their gain. And it’s about time that we have them stop playing with our lives when there are people in Congress that want to introduce real options for us that would make it easier and cheaper to stay healthy.
That is why the work continues. It depends on people like us to stand up and raise our voice to tell the Tea Party, who so violently told us no on this bill, that we need to be healthy. If we’re not healthy, we can’t work. If we can’t work, we can’t pay the bills, we can’t put food on the table, we can’t make sure that our money goes into the economy. Everything in this country relies upon the health of its citizens.
That is why we need true universal health care in this country. A system that would allow any American to walk into a health clinic, hospital or pharmacy and get the medication, treatment and care that they need. It is not only vital to the country but to our jobs, friends and our families.
That is why the work isn’t over. That is why we need to keep on keeping on,and tell the fringe right that we still exist, even if we can’t scream as loud as them.