Since the implementation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, U.S. citizens have been trying to decipher what happens next.
Ann Beck, associate professor of political science, spoke to a group of students and community members about the act last week. Beck, who moderated the event, explained what impact the act has on Kentucky.
“Currently in Kentucky, there are over 600,000 people who lack health insurance of any kind,” Beck said. “This law will hopefully reduce that number by at least half. Kentucky always ranks at the bottom of the health indicators.”
Most students who are on their parents’ coverage are protected until they reach the age of 26.
While many of those without health care in Kentucky do not include Murray State students, there is always an exception.
Sophomore Rikki Crayton is no longer on her parents’ coverage and lost her Medi-Care coverage after her move to Kentucky.
Beck explained the Medicaid coverage applies to most uninsured students like Clayton, who make less than $15,856, are single, not claimed on parent’s taxes, and are not covered under employers. Medicaid insurance has no monthly premium and no deductible.
Beck said the intention of the act was to make health care affordable to the average person and to provide the same basic benefits to all people, whether the insurance providers were public or private.
Many students are not impacted by the law because they are already covered through their parents’ insurance.
Junior Becca Schimmel said that she does not know much about the law because she is already insured, however, she said she thinks it could be a good thing.
“I know many people are mad about the fines,” Schimmel said. “But I think in the long run it could really help a lot of people get health insurance and make it affordable for them.”
Schimmel is one of many students who do not know the details of the Affordable Care Act, but believes that more students should know about the act.
“Obamacare is the reason that the government has been shut down since they can’t decide on a budget,” Schimmel said. “This is a big deal and students should know what is happening with our government even if they aren’t directly affected by it.”