Western Courier

Obamacare does not care

Jacob Tomlinson

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News broke on Oct. 25 that plans and pricing for the Affordable Care Act exchanges are now available for viewing. As it turns out, premiums for all healthcare packages in Illinois will be going up by an average of 44 percent for the lowest level plan (the Bronze plan), according to the Chicago Tribune. The price increases for the other plans are even higher.

For individuals and families across the state, their monthly premiums will be going up for healthcare. According to the federal government, if you qualify for a tax credit, you might be paying for affordable healthcare, but unfortunately you’ll still have to pay the unaffordable monthly premium.

To make matters worse, deductibles, the money you pay out-of-pocket for something before the insurance will step in and pay the rest, are nowhere near affordable. Depending on the county and plan you choose, your deductible can be between $1,000 and $7,000 or higher in Illinois. I cannot think of any one college-aged individual that believes this is affordable.

Now, I should mention a couple things before I continue, so don’t dart your eyes just yet. The Affordable Care Act allows individuals to stay on their parent’s coverage until they are 26. Accordingly, perhaps not all college-age students will be feeling the pain, but their parents surely will. Additionally, college students are mandated to have minimum essential coverage while they’re in school. In other words, you have to have a certain level of coverage (a certain plan) while you are in school whether or not you choose to get coverage through the student healthcare plan, stick to your parent’s plan, or purchase your own plan. Therefore, if your parents aren’t paying for it under their healthcare plan, you’re paying for it through the university or on your own. Unless you want to pay a fine, that is.

To give you an example of what a 21-year-old, healthy college student would be paying, I went over to the healthcare exchange and took a look at my options. Looking at the choices provided to me, the cheapest bronze plan (which wouldn’t meet state guidelines because I’m a college student) has a premium of $210.99 per month with a $7,150 deductible. Because I cannot even get this coverage if I wanted to, however, the cheapest plan that meets required guidelines has a premium of $348.36 per month with a $4,150 deductible. This is simply not affordable.

Do not get me wrong, there are provisions of the Affordable Care Act that I think are, on the whole, good for the United States. Although, these provisions are also completely separate from creating a disastrous healthcare system. Still, the Affordable Care Act fails to live up to its name and make healthcare affordable for U.S. citizens. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, premiums have gone up, deductibles have gone even higher, and the number of healthcare options for consumers has gone way, way down. Altogether, the federal government has no business meddling with healthcare.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Obamacare does not care