The Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama in March of 2010, undoubtedly benefited the KSC community, and students across the country, in allowing each of us students to remain on our parents’ health care plan until we turn 26, a luxury that prevents us from having to drop extracurriculars to puck up jocks which would pay for our otherwise hefty bills.
But its cost, both financially and philosophically, is still up for much debate depending on the discussion at hand.
But regardless of party affiliation, it appears the health care debate is just heating up, and will likely be center stage during the prime-time of the 2012 general elections.
The Supreme Court has fast-tracked it’s review of the Affordable Care Act and will likely rule sometime between summer and fall of 2012, just weeks before the presidential elections in November; all to no complaint or resistance from President Obama. Obama, in fact, has claimed he’s confident in the findings of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act being on his side.
This is shaping up to be a monumental ruling, to be placed in the history books alongside Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board of Education. Whatever the outcome of this ruling, it will shape the way we look at government, just as these rulings have shaped our own lives.
So, with the rehashing of this long battle, we find a split very nearly along party lines: Democrat and Republican. Although both parties certainly believe health care reform is necessary, the size and scope vary greatly between the parties. No one can deny the benefits of certain provisions, like those protecting citizens with preexisting conditions and the ability for students like us to stay on our parents plans. But the decision on how do achieve these missions is divided.
With the ruling expected out near the general election, November 2012 may come down to one, final question: for or against Obamacare?
This election, should it play out in this manner, will serve as the political litmus test.
Surely, pundits have had theories proving the demise of both parties time and again. But this election, more so than ever before, could be the determining factor in our futures.
And likewise, the Republican party’s nominee will play a great role in the 2012 decision. In electing Governor Mitt Romney, who overhauled Massachusetts health care, Republicans set themselves up to be an easy target by Obama, who has called Romney’s plan his example. Without a substantial and concrete argument, Romney will lose the “anti-Obamacare” reputation that much of the Republican party, and even some Libertarians, are seeking in a nominee.
That being said, candidates have risen to their moment of stardom and quickly fallen on the campaign trail already, leaving many to question whether Romney really is the strongest Republican nominee or not.
But party politics aside, there’s a larger argument lining itself up. The election will serve a larger purpose than we may be ready for.
As students, we must look at the bigger picture.
We’re the inheriting generation, who may just find ourselves living out the consequences – be they good or bad – of a landslide election largely based on popularity for the Affordable Care Act.
This time around, we won’t just be voting for one person to sit in the office for the next four years. We’re choosing bigger than this.
This time around, we may be deciding the reaches of the US federal government, forever shaping the way in which our government operates and is involved in our personal lives.
Allie Bedell can be contacted at email@example.com