Health Care & Public Health

The Affordable Care Act: Taking One Thing Off Our To-Do List

In Spiderman, Uncle Ben wisely said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Well, great power comes just from growing up. We go from the stress-free excitement of summer camp and the Disney Channel to the grueling days of SAT Prep to the formative years of college, where we land on the unwavering pavement of adulthood. On this unrelenting, demanding ground, we obtain agency, independence, and power, but also the insistent reminder that we have to deal with the less than fun side of growing up: paying taxes, supporting ourselves, and dealing with health insurance.

The topic of healthcare has been a controversial and pertinent issue in America. After fierce debates in Congress, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, guaranteeing the coverage of 27 million more Americans.

As students, the Affordable Care Act helps us. The new bill allows individuals to stay on their parents’ health plans until they are 26. The ACA also ensures that health coverage through universities have consumer protections such as no lifetime limits, no arbitrary rescissions (contract-breaking), and no pre-existing exclusions for individuals under age 19.

The protection from the bill and the ability to stay on our parents’ insurance until age 26 means that we don’t have to stress about finding health insurance and add another thing on our already stressful to-do lists. Instead of having to worry about paying for health insurance in the interim between the end of senior year and our first job post-college, the Affordable Care Act allows us to take the time to figure out how to navigate the job market in the midst of a recession.

But let’s say you do have to add finding health insurance to your to-do list. The ACA created an Insurance Exchange to ensure that when you get out of school, you won’t be paying exorbitant prices. Instead, you will be put into a pool with other individuals and small businesses, which drive the prices down and make sure that you and other young adults will not go broke getting the care you need. So, even the worst-case scenario of having to deal with finding heath insurance isn’t that bad!

As Berkeley students, we understand the demands of school, internships, and social outings—there is pretty much demand in every facet of our lives. The Affordable Care Act takes an initial stab to make sure that students don’t have another thing on their plates: having to deal with health insurance. As Berkeley students, we will all be ready to take on the challenges of the real world and the responsibility that comes with the power of being completely independent. But until then, I’m okay with a little less real-world responsibility and instead focusing on being a student.


Article by Jordana Cohen

Feature Image Source: Policy Mantraa