11 Things You Didn't Know About Obamacare

11 Things You Didn't Know About Obamacare

An overview of some of the main points of the Affordable Care Act.

Some people seem to love Obamacare. Others seem to be completely against it. But if you ask either person why, they probably can't give a good explanation. And that's because, as a society, we tend to blindly pick sides according to our political affiliations. If the Democrats support Obamacare, then by golly, I'll support Obamacare! But what are we really supporting or opposing? What is Obamacare and what exactly does it do? Here are some of the main points of Obamacare.

1. Obamacare is actually called the Affordable Care Act.

Well, what's the Affordable Care Act? Essentially, the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) goal is to make sure that everyone has access to quality, affordable medical care. Obamacare doesn't create health insurance. Obamacare regulates the health insurance industry to make sure that all the companies are doing their jobs.

2. The ACA protects against gender discrimination.

Before the Affordable Care Act was created, insurance companies had a lot of loopholes they could use to deny you coverage. Now, under the ACA, insurance companies cannot discriminate against customers based on gender. Believe it or not, insurance companies used to be able to charge women more money than men for identical health plans.

3. The ACA protects people with pre-existing health conditions.

Insurance companies are no longer allowed to drop customers or increase costs for being sick or discovering the existence of a pre-existing condition. So, previously, if you had discovered a cancerous tumor during a routine screening, companies could deny you insurance or remove you completely by claiming that it was a pre-existing condition. This made it very difficult for patients to be able to afford the health care they needed to treat such conditions.

4. The ACA requires employers to provide their employees with insurance.

If a company has more than 50 employees, it is required to provide its employees and their dependents (i.e. children or spouses) with health insurance benefits. If an employee chooses to decline the employer's plan, the employee and their dependents will no longer be eligible for coverage or cost assistance.

5. The ACA covers preventative care.

This includes everything from flu shots and vaccinations to blood pressure and breast cancer screenings. By covering early detection and prevention, the ACA hopes to save money on more expensive treatments and cures.

6. You can still keep your previous insurance plan.

If the insurance plan that you already have complies with the ACA standards, then you are allowed to remain on that plan. If your plan doesn't meet the standards, it's your health insurance company's job to tell you and to inform you of other options.

7. The cost of a plan depends on multiple factors.

There are five main factors that affect how much you will pay: the type of plan you want, your age, where you live, your income, and the size of your family. For example, the government covers some of the cost for middle-income families and small businesses. However, some premiums and taxes have increased to be able to support funding for the ACA.

8. The ACA has drastically increased the number of Americans with health insurance.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 90.9 percent of Americans now have some form of health insurance- that's around 292,500,000 people! By comparison, only 83.7 percent of Americans had insurance when the ACA was passed in 2010. However, that still leaves about 10 percent of Americans, around 30 million people, uninsured.

9. Costs could be rising for Americans not yet enrolled.

Though the vast majority of Americans are now under the ACA, the remaining 10 percent may have a hard time enrolling. Costs are expected to rise in 2017 and there may be fewer options offered. Open enrollment, which is the period during which shoppers can switch plans, enroll in new ones, or receive subsidies on health plans, for an insurance plan for the year of 2017 will end on January 31st.

10. The U.S. is one of the few major countries that does not guarantee everyone access to health coverage.

In most major countries, health care is a right. But in the U.S., it's considered a privilege for those that can afford it. The ACA is trying to make health care a legal right for all instead of a privilege for the wealthy.

11. The ACA will not go away immediately when Trump is sworn in.

What the president-elect actually plans to do with the Affordable Care Act is unclear. He recently backpedaled on his initial promise to repeal the whole act, saying that there are parts he would consider keeping. If a decision is made to repeal part or all of the Affordable Care Act, it could take up to three years to implement a replacement plan.

To find out what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to Obamacare, check out this website. For a more comprehensive overview of the Affordable Care Act and all of its components, click here.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Liberty

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.


This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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