What to do about health care is a controversial topic in the US. President Obama has made health care reform as one of the most important parts of his presidency. With the recent Supreme Court ruling that Obamacare is Constitutional, more and more people have developed an opinion on the matter of health care.
In 2009, the US National Health Care Act failed to reach debate in the House. This act called for a universal single-payer health care system in the US. Under this act, any medical care needed by a person would be paid for directly by the US government. Private insurance would merely cover extra procedures that a patient wanted but did not need. This system of health care would be paid for through taxes.
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires most adults who are not covered by an employer or government-sponsored insurance to buy their own insurance or have to pay a penalty, known as the individual mandate. This act seeks to expand Medicaid through the incentive of not having to pay the penalty. Twenty-eight states, many private organizations and people have filed reports in federal courts against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, claiming it is unconstitutional.
On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court released their ruling on the case of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, a case questioning the Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They ruled five to four that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was constitutional, based on one of Congress’s powers: the power to levy taxes. This Supreme Court ruling was a major victory for President Obama and the Congressional Democrats who are in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Surprisingly enough, Justice Roberts, the traditionally conservative Justice, sided with the more democratic Justices.
The choice for people to either purchase health care or pay a penalty will begin in 2014. This means that in 2014, all parts of the law that have been implemented will stay in effect. Although the Supreme Court ruling upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the future of health care reform is still uncertain. In the elections of November 2012, it is almost certain that health care will be an issue that the presidential candidates will stress in their platforms.