Health care reform a win for students

Although the current administration has only been fighting for health care reform for a year, the debate has been raging since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. Congressional approval of President Obama’s historic health care legislation marks the biggest overhaul of health care in 45 years — since President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965.

The new reform bill will provide coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans, attempt to control rising costs and prevent common insurance company abuses. Californians, however, have reason to feel especially blessed. As a result of recent recession layoffs, a staggering 8.2 million people in California do not have health insurance. That one in four of us under the age of 65 are currently uninsured emphasizes how health care reform is especially crucial for Californians.

Despite what the Republican following at USC might tell you, the health care reform bill is a good thing for the state of California.

Fortunately, the historic bill allows college graduates to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 27. This will provide a degree of financial relief as we struggle to find jobs during the economic downturn.

Saya Taniguchi, an undecided freshman, said she was relieved by the provision. “It’s going to be nice to be able to use my dad’s employer-based insurance well after I graduate, in case I can’t find a job which provides me with alternative coverage,” she said.

Adults who already have employer-based health insurance will not see much change to their policies over the next few months, but they will have peace of mind knowing that in the event they lose their job, they cannot be denied coverage or charged higher rates because of pre-existing conditions.

Opponents of the reform bill have attempted to convince the rest of the country that the bill will bankrupt America.

Most independent studies, specifically the one performed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, indicate that the legislation will actually reduce our national deficit by $138 billion over the next 10 years. Current health care expenditures are very high because of physician and provider overtreatment; the new bill hopes to curb some of these costs by increasing the out-of-pocket costs to patients, encouraging price-based decision making rather than wasteful hospital visits.

More importantly, Medicare costs will go down because doctors and medical institutions will be paid for the quality of their services rather than quantity.

America is the only advanced nation in the world that does not guarantee health care to the vast majority of its citizens. Just like historically contested reforms of the past such as Social Security and minimum wage, we will look back on this health care bill as an indispensable part of our country’s safety net.

The health care reform process still has a long way to go before its full implementation in 2014, but at least it has begun.

Gokul Agrawal is a senior majoring in business administration.

3 replies
  1. Diane
    Diane says:

    Interesting. My comment has been deleted. What’s up with that? It’s unfortunate, since I had carefully pointed out young Gokul’s entirely flawed reasoning. Sad to see censorship right here at the DT, but I guess not surprising.

  2. Joe
    Joe says:

    “Fortunately, the historic bill allows college graduates to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 27. This will provide a degree of financial relief as we struggle to find jobs during the economic downturn.”

    Nice… we have gone from wanting prosperity and jobs, to wanting leaders who will force other people to pay our bills so that unemployment is less unpleasant. I guess this is the “hope” generation.

  3. Tom Degan
    Tom Degan says:

    It was a lot of fun watching these idiotic Republicans “warning” the Democrats that the passage of health care reform will cost them dearly at the polls in November. It’s going to cost someone dearly, alright, but it won’t be the Dems. Former Bush 43 speechwriter Davin Frum put it perfectly yesterday when he said that it was the Republicans – not Barack Obama – who had met their “Waterloo”. The historical rule of politics, that an incumbent president’s party always loses ground in the midterm elections, will go out the window come November. They will be unable to win without the help of the moderates. At this moment the moderates are abandoning this sinking ship en masse. The extremism of people like Michele Bachmann and John Beohner is starting to scare the hell out of them. Gee, I wonder why!

    Then there is the sticky situation of the Tea Party. By this late point it must be obvious to even the casual observer that this is an organization comprised of morons. It was formed as a protest movement against high taxes – immediately after President Obama passed the largest middle class tax cut in American history. There’s no denying it, these are not the brightest people on the planet. Their overt racism notwithstanding, they sure are funny! One self identified Tea Partier called into C-SPAN’s Washington Journal the other day asking the moderator where she could write to her congressman. When host Greta Brawner asked this idiotic woman what her congressman’s name was, she replied (I assume with a straight face) “He’s a Democrat. I don’t know his name.” Ya gotta love ‘em! Ya just gotta!

    Tom Degan

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