Republicans have talked extensively about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the new health care bill. The bill passed this year after Barack Obama made it one of his main priorities on the 2008 campaign trail.
Democrats and Americans saw a broken health care system where people were being denied coverage and where insurance premiums were skyrocketing. Since the passage of the bill, however, many Americans are skeptical of what it contains.
According to political science professor Michael Dodson, the main provisions of the bill are that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health coverage.
It ends the annual limits on the amount of money someone can receive, and patients cannot be dropped from their bill when they become sick.
It also creates exchanges in states for the competitive sale of coverage and plans. There are rules and regulations placed on these exchanges to keep premiums low and to keep the variety of plans high.
The act extends coverage to 32 million Americans who did not previously have health insurance, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will lower the federal budget by $128 billion over the next decade.
However, not a single Republican voted for the bill, and House Minority Leader John Boehner has said that he would make repealing health care a number one priority.
The act will not be repealed because Obama would simply veto it. Implementing certain provisions, however, could be blocked.
There is one question that Republicans will not answer this campaign season. If Republicans block the act from being carried out, will they craft a bill so the 32 million newly&-insured Americans can keep their insurance, or will they take that insurance back?
Republicans and other non-supporters of the bill have created enough rumors and false statements about the bill that the average citizen doesn’t know what’s in it. For example, I have heard a TCU professor tell his class that in the bill, hospitals can decide how much money patients are worth and can give patients only the amount of money that hospitals decide.
Claims like these are absolutely false and are meant to stir up fear among voters.
While glancing over the act’s actual provisions, most Americans would agree that it is a step in the right direction for America, but Obama has not done a good enough job at quelling rumors and telling Americans what is actually in the bill.
Obama often answers questions like a law professor. His answers sound more like Michael Dukakis than Bill Clinton. He needs to find the populist voice that Clinton found in 1994. He needs to connect with people. Everyone knows he is intelligent; he just needs to go back to being the great communicator that he can be.
Alex Apple is a freshman political science and journalism double major from Nashville, Tenn.