Obama Care

James Scott

            Pres. Barack Obama’s biggest piece of legislation was The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obama care. This bill was put into place to help reform the health care system.

            Students may be wondering what the effects will be for them. Many students are already seeing what Obama care can do. Students are now allowed to stay on their parent or guardians plan till the age of 26.

“This is hugely important, especially in this economy, where they may not immediately get a job with health insurance,” said Professor Steffen Schmidt, Iowa State political science professor.

This bill prevents health insurance companies from denying coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition. It also requires coverage for preventive care, like cancer screenings and women’s contraceptive.

No longer will insurance companies be able to drop customers without a right to appeal. Obama care has given customers more freedom and control over their health care needs.

Many students at Iowa State already have health insurance. According to a survey in 2012, by American College Health Association, and National College Health Assessment conducted by Thielen Student Health Center’s Prevention Services Department, reported that 93 percent of students already have heath insurance.

            Starting Jan. 1 every United States citizen will be required to have health insurance. If you choose not to, on March 1st you will begin to be taxed. The tax starts gradual, starting at one percent of taxable income the first year, to the third year which could cost two point five percent of your taxable income.

Since most students already have health insurance, this new mandate will have no effect on them.  Students without health insurance will have a number of options.  

            Beginning October 1st the marketplace, also known as the exchange program for insurance companies will begin. The marketplace is designed for small businesses, customers without employee insurance, or new customers to compare and contrast healthcare plans that fit their needs.

            The marketplace will be a collection of insurance plans ran by insurance companies. The federal government is simply subsidizing health care coverage, so it’s more affordable for all citizens.

“There will be a bronze, silver, gold and Platinum Health Insurance Plans. Each with their own set of deductibles and copays, under the marketplace model.” Schmidt said. Platinum giving the most coverage, bronze being the least. Many low to middle class citizens will qualify for subsidies on their health insurance, lowering the cost of their health care.

Michell Hendricks, director of Thielen Health center at Iowa State said via e-mail “in terms of healthcare reform, we don’t expect it having a big impact on us at Student Health.” Getting medical attention on campus will not be an issue because of Obama care.

Obama care is a huge, complicated bill. It will take trial and error and adjustments, until the bill fits for everyone. “It’s not perfect, but it’s the best that we can do” Schmidt said. Time will tell if the bill is a success or a failure, it’s the best step forward.