Obama’s Healthcare Plan

Jackie Milestone
News Editor

President Obama’s healthcare reform proposition may not be average lunchroom talk, but it is something that everyone – student to senior citizen – should know about. It is not as though universal health care or reformed health care is an innovative idea on any level. The plan has been circulating the political world for decades upon decades; however, it is Barack Obama who has promised, “I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last,” as he said with a certain ferocity in his address to Congress.
But this news has been circulating the media for over a month now, and can be found and known easily. The real question now is…
How Does This Relate to You?
I discussed some of the most prominent questions about how the healthcare reform might have an affect on Harriton Students (if not now, then in the near future) with Dr. Vittorio Maio who works in Jefferson Medical College’s Department of Health Policy as a Research Assistant Professor. He answered some of the most pressing questions about healthcare and students:
Something many students may not have thought about is Healthcare in College but considering that the majority of Harriton graduates go to college or university, it is something to take into further deliberation. It is true that some colleges have their own specific healthcare plans that make it easy for students to get the coverage they need, but not all provide this option. On the other hand, parents or legal guardians may provide for their children as students all the way through college if they have a family plan.
Yet, what happens if a student is covered neither by their college nor by their parents? It is not so unlikely, considering that approximately 47 million United States citizens lack any kind of health insurance, based on a 2008-09 survey by the Government Accountability Report. That is one-sixth of America’s population!
The universal plan will require all these millions of people to somehow purchase healthcare; the only way Obama’s new system can work is if all citizens participate and thus are all contributing money to support each other and themselves. In the current, unmodified system, any person could walk into a hospital and demand service and, lawfully, they must been granted it. The goal of the Obama plan is to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all those who have been living without it.
The affordable rates of the government plan will also, hopefully, force big health insurance companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield (likely, the health insurance your whole family possesses) to either lower their rates or increase their quality because of the new competition.
Finally, whether student, former student or roaming employee, what happens come college graduation, or if a sticky situation arises where you have had to leave your previous job and are no longer covered? How do you find fast, affordable coverage?
The truth is that there is much yet to be determined, like the answer to that question. The bill will most likely contain some sort of sustainability for people in this situation otherwise it would totally disrupt the whole plan. There are many kinks to be worked out yet, but one thing is true as Dr. Maio said to me at the conclusion of our conversation, “Whatever is going to happen, something has to happen.” The current healthcare system will surely put America in economic crisis faster than a national change would and if it means a small dwindling of the monthly paycheck, so be it. For now, know what your part is in the healthcare reform and take action.