Affordable Care Act. Obamacare. National Health in England. Medicare in Canada. It’s all a similar idea, public health care in the world. Whether it is completely free and completely accessible to everyone is a matter of where you live. England and Canada have universal healthcare for everyone.
In the United States, not so much.
Some people who have been petitioning to disband the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were ecstatic when Trump was elected to presidency. It was the answer to many prayers to end the ACA.
There is a stigma surrounding state-provided heath care. It’s something that is unavoidable. It gets a lot of hatred, a lot of criticism that it, justifiably, deserves. But an overwhelming amount of the population, 22.8 million people according to Forbes Magazine, signed up when ACA was first announced. Of those 22.8 million, 18 million could lose healthcare as reported by the Congressional Budget Office.
For a lot of people, ACA is the only option. Their jobs either don’t have health insurance, or they’re too old to be on their parent’s plan anymore. Huge parts of the population covered by ACA are people who are homeless. A fear shared among this population is what will happen if the healthcare system is repealed?
Recently, in 31 states, nondisabled and childless adults were allowed to receive federally funded care. If ACA is repealed, and a different system that allocates a certain amount of money to the states for public health care, and for the state to use at their own discretion, is implemented, it would most likely force states with lower funding to choose who will get coverage. Guess whose care will be the first to go? Most likely the childless and nondisabled adults who just got coverage.
The ACA isn’t perfect, but in the case of people living on the streets, people who are between jobs, people working multiple part-time jobs, and people who live below the poverty line it is usually the only option. Getting rid of it wont change those situations, but making it work better for the people who need it will literally save lives.
By Kate Sahagian