September 15, 2009

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 2

Changes for health care: Who needs it, and why?

Changes for health care: Who needs it, and why?

Changes for health care: Who needs it, and why?

Health insurance is one of the major issues in the United States, mostly due to out-of-pocket cost for those who have health insurance. This affects mostly the elderly and recent college graduates, who were kicked off their family plan because of their age.

The documentary "Sicko" directed and produced by Michael Moore, shows alarming statistics from 2006, dealing with health care problems in the United States.

For instance, 45 million Americans do not have health insurance and 18,000 people die each year because they have no insurance. What can be done to help this epidemic?
President Barack Obama admits that changing the health care policy will not be easy. In his speech delivered on Feb. 24, he stated, "Nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough." Obama believes that health care reform "must not wait, and will not wait another year".

Obama signed a bill into law called the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act 20 days before giving his speech. This is said to provide better health care to 11 million children and 4 million of those children that were not insured beforehand. In addition, the Recovery and Reinvestment Act gives $1 billion for prevention and wellness to improve America's health and to help reduce health care cost.

Moore believes that half of all bankruptcies are because of the high expense of medical bills and three- quarters of the people filling are people with insurance.
The HealthReform.gov Web site states that the reform will help New York state put an end to the hidden taxes regarding health care providers. As of now, New York providers are losing more than $9.3 billion in bad debt, which ultimately becomes a tax for families. The reform is said to improve the system and cover those without insurance. This allows 202 hospitals and 88,179 physicians in New York to provide quality health care.

For some time, it has been noted that New York cannot keep up with the status quo. HealthReform.gov says roughly 11.2 million people in New York get health insurance from their jobs, but the health premiums averaged $13,971. This is almost the annual salary earnings of a full-time minimum wage job. In New York alone, the premiums increased an average 97% since 2000.

Overall the White House administration is working to get these statistics down in New York and around the country. It is hoped that with the new laws being put into action, the nation will see some relief for their efforts.

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