I knew delegates play an important role in the electoral process, but I didn’t realize how significant that role really was until I decided to get involved. It’s been really fun to be engaged and to have candidates reach out to me and want to talk about MY opinions. But being a delegate has coerced me to take a stance on issues that I honestly have a tough time deciding how I really feel about them. Issues that I normally just ignore reading about in the paper because they just aren’t something I’m that passionate about. Issues that I think are difficult to really choose a side on because I could see things either way.
One of them is healthcare. Personally, I have been lucky to have grown up with health insurance all my life. My dad is retired military, so we had Tricare until my mom started working at the University of Utah Hospital, and now we have Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield. If my mom ever heard me cough just once, she would freak out and immediately send me to the doctor. It was always nice not having to worry so much about how much a doctor’s visit would cost. But there were other times where I would get really sick and doctors would run multiple tests to figure out what was wrong. I would see the billing statements in the mail, and it would cost hundreds of dollars for one doctor’s visit – but since we had a good insurance plan, my parents wouldn’t have to pay very much at all.
That’s my experience with health insurance. But I’ve been relatively healthy all my life. I’ve never had surgery, let alone stitches. I’ve never had an IV or been taken to the ER or ICU. But not everyone is as lucky as me. Not everyone was born without a pre-existing condition beyond their control. And not everyone can afford to pay the rapidly increasing premiums and deductibles that the insurance companies demand. That’s why I think healthcare reform is important. Maybe the ACA isn’t perfect, but I think it’s a good start.
The New Yorker has a good article today highlighting some of the discussion taking place in the U.S. Supreme Court review of the ACA’s constitutionality. Here’s a snippet of my favorite part:
The real justification for the A.C.A. is the same one that Congress has used for virtually all economic regulation since the New Deal: the Commerce Clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, giving Congress the power
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.
Medicare, Medicaid, not to mention the minimum wage—all have been passed, without constitutional controversy, under the authority of the Commerce Clause. To me (and most others, I am willing to bet), the A.C.A. is fairly straightforward and uncontroversial application of this longstanding power. To rule the A.C.A. outside the power of Congress would be a dramatic change in the powers of the federal government.
I can see the burden that businesses are trying to avoid. It is already costly to run a company, and imposing additional costs of healthcare for each employee may be especially cumbersome. I also think it’s tough to have to deal with the HHS mandate in which businesses are ‘forced’ to include contraceptives, abortions and whatnot in their insurance coverage. I feel bad for people who have to deal with this, because I am pro-life. I personally try to be understanding of people’s situations when they choose to make that decision, but if I were a business owner and I had to actually subsidize the health insurance costs of procedures that include abortions, I’d be pretty upset.
So in other words, my views on this are pretty mixed up. I think it’s important that everyone who wants health insurance should be able to have access to it. I especially think it’s important to get health insurance when you’re young even if you have perfect health because emergencies and accidents do happen. And I was happy that something was finally being done about it now because this is something that the government has tried to tackle for several decades. And I hope the Supreme Court sees it the way I do. It’s a start, and it’s changing so many people’s lives for the better, and I think it’s something worth being happy for.