What The Repealing Of Obamacare Means For You

What The Repealing Of Obamacare Means For You

Congress budget resolution kickstarts the repeal of Obamacare
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On Friday, January 13, Congress successfully passed a budget resolution with a vote of 51 to 48. This was the first step in the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (a primary goal of the Republican party since Obamacare became law back in 2010). But how does this budget resolution effect the ACA, and how does it affect you?

The Budget Resolution: How does it work?

The budget resolution is not a landmark piece of legislation; rather, it is an annual statement of what the federal government expects to spend during that year. This year, however, had a certain section of the resolution is causing an uproar among adamant Obamacare supporters. This section, “reconciliation directive,” asks for the four committees that control spending on federal health care to reduce the impact the ACA has on the federal deficit. AKA, how these four committees (two in the House, two in the Senate) will defund Obamacare.

Ingeniously, this removes much of the chance Democrats would have to filibuster a bill that repeals Obamacare, for a bill of such a sort would take 60 votes to overcome (the Republicans only hold 52 seats). So, to prevent a Democratic filibuster and failure of such a bill, the Republicans are using a budget reconciliation to defund the ACA. A budget reconciliation can be passed with a total of 51 votes, and a budget resolution is the first step in moving towards a budget reconciliation

The budget resolution, passed by both the House and Senate, then gets sent to committees of jurisdiction to draft the repeal bill. This will take quite some time, for debate over what parts of Obamacare to defund will likely be a slow and arduous conversation. But once it has been decided which parts to defund, the plan will be sent to the budget committee. This committee will turn the entirety of all plans proposed into one large proposal (the budget reconciliation), to be voted on again by Congress. A simple majority wins it for the House, and the Senate only requires 51 votes to pass. Once it passes (and it likely will once the reconciliation is proposed), parts of Obamacare will be repealed. The rest of the ACA, though, will have to be deconstructed with bipartisan support

But what does this have to do with me?

Unfortunately, a lot. America already spends the most of its GDP on healthcare out of any developed nation (a fact that has been consistent since before the ACA), a fact that may seem odd when most all other developed nations have some form of socialized healthcare. But this fact is due, in part, to a large amount of persons who are uninsured in this country. If one is uninsured and they go to a hospital to seek treatment, but can't pay, they will still receive treatment regardless. However, their bill still has to be paid and will default onto the American taxpayers. Thus, in order to pay for those who can't afford pricey insurance premiums, taxes will increase.

In order to help alleviate tax increases and decrease the number of uninsured programs, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act. This, alongside its many other facets, served to get 20 million more people insured, thus reducing the amount of medical bills that end up defaulting back onto American tax payers.

Just a few highlights of the ACA that are likely to start being contested soon:

-Protection for those with preexisting conditions, so that insurance companies cannot refuse you or charge you a higher amount

-Expansion of Medicad and CHIP, so that if you fall below 138% of the Federal Poverty Line, you can be covered by said plans.

-Individual Mandate Penalty which must be paid monthly by all those who opt out of having insurance coverage.

-Employer Mandate that requires all employers with 50+ full-time workers must cover their workers (started in 2016).

-Insurance coverage through your parents up until the age of 26. (A landmark in insurance coverage for many young persons who are full-time students)

The first of these that are likely to see an end in the budget reconciliation is the expansion of Medicaid and the individual mandate. So, things will change most immediately for those who are covered by the expansion of Medicaid, or those who pay a monthly penalty. But, for better, or for worse, with a Republican President and Congress, it is likely the US will watch the dismantlement of the ACA in the coming years.

Cover Image Credit: Womble Carlyle

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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