Saturday, June 30, 2012

On PPACA or "Obamacare"

Update: You should totally read this on how Obamacare affects your vagina over a Jezebel!

I love me some Obamacare. I really, really do. I've also decided that I like the reclaiming of the term Obamacare, because honestly, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is kind of difficult to say. I used to call it the Affordable Care Act, but even that is long. And honestly, I kinda like the look on people's faces when I say Obamacare, but then proceed to rave about how much it is already helping people. 

Just in case you were ignoring the nation for a while, you are probably aware that SCOTUS has ruled 5-4 in favor of PPACA. This is good news for me and for people like me. If you're not sure who will benefit from this ruling and/or how people are benefiting from Obamacare already and how they will continue to in the future, check out this very simplified reddit post. You can also read the more official info at and the info from the White House

I'm not in love with the NYTimes turning this victory into a political game, declaring this a "victory for Mr. Obama." I am, however, super excited about the law being upheld. (I'll tell you why after the jump.)
I am a young woman (early-mid twenties). This means if it were not for Obamacare, I would be without health insurance. At the current company I work for, I could buy health insurance, but it does not have good coverage. At other companies I've worked for since aging out of the old system, I would not have been eligible for health insurance and therefore would have been unable to afford many health care costs.

My medical needs are not extreme, but they are also not as simple as those of many twenty somethings. For instance, I go to my psychiatrist every month as he tries to find medicine that will work for my depression and anxiety. This means every month I pay a co-pay ($20) instead of the full price of the visit, which I would surely be unable to afford. 

I also benefit from my prescription insurance. This helps me in many ways. Firstly, I don't have to pay exorbitant co-pays on medication I'm not always certain will help me. Secondly, I am able to continue to take my birth control. This is incredibly important for me for many reasons (eg. I'm not ready for kids yet, I can't afford to support children, etc.). Most relevant to this discussion, though, is the fact that medically I should not be having children at least until my depression is under control. (Notice that says "I," not all depressed people. This is a very personal thing and is based on discussions I've had with  my care team.) Even with insurance, my birth control co-pay is $36. If I did not have health insurance, this drug would cost me $97 every month. I simply could not afford to take it, then and as things progressed, I would require state assistance to pay for the birth of my child and the later care for my child. 

I know other people who are benefiting from raising the age cap: people who have required surgery, people who have been hospitalized, and people who just really need prescription coverage. I also know people who are benefiting from the new restrictions on denying coverage due to preexisting conditions. We can all agree that people with preexisting conditions need health care more than most, but those people also will age out of their parents' insurance at some point. Once they are in the market, they will have to find a company willing to take a chance on them. Now, people can get insurance, but they will likely have to pay higher premiums than those without preexisting conditions. This will improve as time goes on as in a few years there will be no difference in premiums.

I know this turned into a bit of a rant, so I'm sorry, but we need more stories out there about how this law is actually affecting people, rather than how the pundits think it's affecting people. This law is HUGE for people in my age group, but I hardly ever hear it talked about.  Feel free to share your stories or debate me in the comments.


  1. I'll admit, I'm not all into politics that much; too much running in circles and headaches to comprehend. So hearing that Obamacare is now law and knowing how it'll either hurt or help my healthcare is indifferent to me. It is funny, however, to hear everyone from Mitt Romney to co-workers griping about it (notice how it was the same reaction when Obama first ran for election). It'll be interesting to see how this plays out for Americans but my issue with the whole thing is this: I believe we're attacking the issue of affordable health care the wrong way. Rather than "tax" the nation into providing universal healthcare, why not go after the businesses who continue to treat health care just as such: a business? I know this country is capitalist based and the likelihood of some major pharmaceutical company CEO would be willing to slash, not only his/her paycheck, but product prices as well so that uninsured individuals could get the scripts they need without bending backwards to buy them. But that's what I think is the real problem here: MONEY!!! and the people who love it. This is why I sometimes wish (actually, all time) that this country could experience the same woes as third world countries so that Americans could learn to appreciate certain goods and services without becoming greedy or money-bound over it. Feel free to correct me on anything as I am going off merely opinion and heresy rather than facts. But seriously, who determines the price on these things?

  2. I understand you completely, but unfortunately, they were unable to pass a single payer plan and the current political climate would not be conducive to a socialized plan.

    Currently, I'm grateful just to have the ability to see a doctor without sacrificing, say, my ability to eat. This is at least a step and I feel it is mostly in the right direction.