The need for the Affordable Care Act

Kylee Watnick

COPY EDITOR

Honestly, I am exhausted with all the talk about trying to repeal “Obamacare” from people. So, to finally answer the pleas for reasons to actually keep our current health care laws, I decided to do a little digging. The American Public Health Association (APHA) has several links on their website (apha.org) to inform people about the state of the nation’s health care and answer why we still need the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A  helpful document titled, Why Do We Need the Affordable Care Act?  lists all the reasons to keep it.  It outlines five specific reasons to keep the current health care system, which was put in place during the Obama administration. 

The first major reason to keep the ACA is that 20 million U.S. citizens have obtained health care through the current system. In 2013, “16.6 percent of the population under age 65 was uninsured,” according to the APHA article. That number has been decreasing every year since the implementation of the ACA. 

According to the same article, if the ACA is implemented properly within all circles, there should be an “increase [to] the number of people covered by health insurance and [reduced] costs in the health system.” This is the second major reason to keep the ACA: anyone can appreciate saving money.

While our health care costs are still high, it seems that the U.S. still ranks low on the life expectancy list. We are numbered 26 out of 43 in regards to the life expectancy of developed nations, according to the APHA. As the supposed leaders of the free world, I think we need to step up our game. How can anyone herald the U.S. as the land where dreams come true when our health care system is failing because the government refuses to implement it to its full capacity? In fact, the current administration has been trying to undo the good that has been done by the ACA for the length of their term so far. 

The ACA has made important strides towards refocusing our health care system towards prevention and away from treatment. This would allow not only a decrease in the costs of healthcare, as many chronic coditions are preventable, but also a decrease in the amount of suffering felt by Americans. Anybody with a sense of empathy can see that full implementation of the ACA will be the most beneficial course of action for Americans today.

The final and most important reason to keep the ACA is that the ACA is currently helping upwards of 20 million people get the health coverage they need. From the unemployed to the undereducated, from the elderly to the very young, and to the otherwise uninsurable, the ACA is worded carefully to include Americans. Health care should never be a debate. It should be a human right. Americans are supposed to have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How can this be achieved if people cannot access proper healthcare? 

There should never be a question about whether you should see a doctor for your ailments. So many chronic diseases and terrible outcomes could be avoided if only people had access to regular check-ups and consultations with actual medical professionals. Hopefully, the current administration will realize the necessity of the benefits that the ACA offers to Americans nationwide.