Politics in a Nutshell: Obamacare, the self-fulfilling prophecy

Graphic by Kathryn Messinger

Graphic by Kathryn Messinger


Don’t make major investments, sight unseen. You wouldn’t buy a used car off the Internet, nor a computer nor a house; some purchases need to be fully examined and researched for assurance that your money will be well spent.

With Obamacare, buying into the program without researching all of the parameters is the only way it can work.

Also referred to as the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, Obamacare has eclipsed the 8 million mark in open-enrollment, and has gained an additional 3.5 million from the law’s Medicaid expansion, according to time.com and vox.com articles. This is in addition to those that already receive health insurance from their employers [approximately 68 percent of the country, according to Sarah Kliff in a Vox article].

The numbers look great: 68 percent of the country is already insured and 11.5 million have just been added to the list. In terms of numbers, according to a US News article, 317 million people lived in the United States in 2013, meaning that a total of 225.7 million people in the country now have health insurance.

So what’s the big deal? The price.

According to a Forbes.com article, the average 27-year-old male will pay 53.6 percent more for health insurance under Obamacare. In the same article, the average insurance payment that is unsubsidized, will rise from $133 to $203.

The law allows for individuals under the age of 26 to remain under their parents’ insurance plan, but for the typical 27-year-old, maybe still in the process of paying off student loans, starting their career or continuing education, as well as making timely bill payments in an unpredictable job market, those costs seem unfathomable.

So why is Obamacare a good thing, especially if we will be penalized for refusing to comply with the individual mandate fine?

Like the dollar, Obamacare isn’t backed by anything but trust. If people stop believing that their money is valuable, then the whole American economy and global economy will crumble. If we can place our faith in pieces of paper making the world go round, why can’t we place our faith in a system that in the long run, can help millions more, and lower health care costs?

According to the same Ezra Klein article, California has beaten enrollment projections and the number of those entering the exchange is rising, encouraging more competition amongst companies, as well lowering costs.

Obamacare is a system based on trust. In order to keep care less expensive for the sick or those over 65, the youth need to be charged more because they are less likely to get injured or have debilitating health conditions. How Obamacare may be perceived creates a self-fulfilling prophecy; if citizens and states refuse to buy in to it because it will fail, then it will. If people believe in the system, costs will be expensive in the short-term, but will decrease, along with an increase in services as time goes on. We trust in paper; why not trust this?

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