In the long, controversial battle over the nation's health care programs, an apparent victor has finally been decided.

On June 25, the Supreme Court upheld a crucial portion of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, in a 6-3 decision that provides health insurance subsidies to low-income and middle-class Americans — including students who fall into this bracket.

"Five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate, we finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few, but a right for all," said President Barack Obama from the White House Rose Garden after the decision was announced. "The Affordable Care Act is here to stay."

Rene Plascenia, or Coach P as he's known by many, is a UCF alumnus and the Florida House Representative for UCF and northern Orlando. He said that the law being upheld isn't where the impact is felt.

If the law had been struck down, Plascenia said 200,000 Floridians would have been left without the subsidies they need to pay for their health insurance.

"If it was struck down by the Supreme Court, then you would have felt a very strong negative impact. But, because it was upheld by the Supreme Court, everything stays as is," he said.

At UCF, many students and staff are in agreement that health insurance is an important necessity for students.

"We recommend all students have health insurance because, even though you may feel healthy and that you don't need it, it only takes one accident or adverse condition to put you in a tough financial situation," said Health Services spokeswoman Megan Pabian.

While Emily Mekas, a senior nursing major, think it's important for students to have health insurance, she disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision.

Mekas said she thinks, due to the rise in people seeking medical care, it will definitely overcrowd hospitals and leave private practices without business.

But Chelsea Daley, president of College Democrats at UCF, argued that the ACA will make buying health care more transparent so people will have an easier time picking a plan that is right for them. The program can also help more people gain access to contraception and mental health services.

"Health insurance is vital to students," Daley said. "Those who are not in favor of the ACA need to look at the bigger picture and see all of the lives it has not only changed, but saved."

She added that the ACA not only ensures students can stay on their parent's plan until age 26, but also gives students the option of purchasing an affordable plan.

While Mekas acknowledges there are some benefits to the program, such as the way it has pushed people too stubborn to get insurance, she still believes students should think beyond their own situations.

"You have to think of the system as a whole. Affordable health insurance is great for students," she said. "But, as a future health care worker, I would look at the whole picture."


Deanna Ferrante is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.

Read or Share this story: