Today, the Supreme Court is going to place its verdict on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as some have deemed it, and there are a few possible outcomes. The entire act could be upheld or get struck down, or it could be dismantled. Parts of it, such as the individual mandate, might be upheld or taken out, while other provisions might also be stripped from the law.
As a strong supporter of the ACA, I am nervous about what might come on Thursday, but no matter what happens, my support for this historic legislation will not waiver.
The ACA was written with the needs of all Americans in mind — especially young Americans like us. Most importantly, the ACA allows young Americans under 26 years old to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan if they can’t get coverage otherwise. That means if your job doesn’t provide benefits, or if your previous insurance expires on your 19th birthday, you can still have health insurance.
Also, the ACA makes it illegal for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes. They also are not allowed to cancel your coverage when you get sick because of an unintentional mistake on your paperwork. Under the ACA, it is now illegal for insurance companies to put a lifetime cap on how much care they will pay for if you get sick.
For young women like myself, the ACA rules that women don’t have to pay extra for their insurance premiums simply because of their gender. For many years now, insurance companies have charged higher premiums to women, and only 14 out of 50 states have taken initiatives to ban gender rating. Additionally, the ACA also includes a specific healthcare plan for women, one that will cover doctor’s visits and screenings such as mammograms that could prevent common diseases such as breast cancer.
The ACA would eventually give people increased coverage for less cost. First, it would keep more money in your pockets, by making insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of your premium on your healthcare or improvements to it. This is known as the 80/20 rule. Before the ACA was passed, insurance companies spent as much as 40 cents of every premium dollar on CEO salaries, marketing and overhead, instead of on your healthcare. The ACA also prevents insurance companies from raising premiums without justification — now, insurance companies must publicly justify their actions if they want to raise premiums by 10 percent or more.
Additionally, the ACA focused on giving coverage for preventive care. This means that you are covered for services that would catch health problems that otherwise would have buried you in healthcare costs. For example, you’d be covered to take blood pressure and cholesterol tests that might indicate that you need to take preventative measures against heart disease. You would also be covered for cancer screenings that would detect the cancer early enough to stop it in its tracks, saving not only your money, but your life.
The ACA gives young Americans like us healthcare, protection and peace of mind – not just for us, but for our families and friends, guiding our country in a healthier direction. I’m glad that President Barack Obama cares — and you should be too.
Anyone interested in writing a column for the Opinions section at the Central Florida Future can contact the Opinions Editor, Kaley LaQuea, at email@example.com.