What’s going to happen to the Affordable Care Act and why it matters

Since 2010 when it was passed into law, The Affordable Care Act has been a matter of debate on Capital Hill. We have seen support and opposition from both sides of the aisle and in the past few presidential races. With newly appointed Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barret and the recent announcement of the President-elect being Joseph Biden Jr, there could be a lot on the table for Americans and their lives. So what is really at stake here and why should it matter?

The Affordable Care Act, which is also known as ACA or Obamacare, was enacted in March of 2010. The original goals were to make healthcare accessible to a greater majority of Americans and expand the Medicaid program (healthcare.gov). Other benefits to the ACA are that it provides care to those with preexisting conditions, allows us to choose our doctors, controls flat rates, and the most important factor to younger generations, allows young adults to stay under their parents coverage option. Without these benefits, we would see less healthcare coverage nationwide and perhaps deaths as an effect. With a global pandemic and a new spike in our midst, the threat of a repeal could not be timed worse.

The reason behind the possible repeal that is led by President Trump and republican lawmakers presumably for two reasons. According to Chris Cizzilla, an editor for CNN Politics, the name that is attached to the bill is largely hated by republicans in Washington, that being Obama. During his runs for president, Trump has repeatedly accused and took jabs at Former President Obama and much of what he stood for, including Obama’s healthcare program.

Another reason that has been said to be a point of contingency is the cost. In the decade after 2016, we are looking at a cost of $1.207 trillion, but all for necessary and beneficial costs and coverages. “We will terminate Obamacare and replace it, believe me, with something good,” President Trump stated in May 2016 at a Florida rally. He is yet to propose another healthcare plan and has proposed that it be repealed by the Supreme Court.

Why should we as teens care? Without the Affordable Care Act, those that are ages 18-26 will no longer be allowed to stay on their parents health coverage plan and forced to find one of their own. That is nearly 40 million people without immediate healthcare, and that isn’t considering all those that are out of a job, a disadvantaged demographic, or the elderly that are unable to pay. We are not in a place where we can get rid of such an important bill.

According to the COVID Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University, 240,265 Americans have died this year from COVID-19. It is the role of the government to do everything they can at this point to make sure no one else dies. Keeping healthcare protections and coverage to those that need it most should be of the utmost importance, now more than ever.

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