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 healthcare.gov 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.