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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The whining continuesPosted Monday, July 2, 2012, at 2:54 PM
If headlines could talk, there would be one that was screaming on Thursday: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT UPHELD 5-4 IN SUPREME COURT.
Whichever camp you find yourself in, there was either champagne toasts or temper tantrums, complete with plenty of whining. Unfortunately, whining is louder than glasses clinking together in celebration.
Whether for, against or otherwise do not care, there are a few positive points that will go into effect in 2014: individuals who work for small businesses, purchase their own insurance through the individual market or are without coverage can purchase insurance through affordable exchanges. Adults with pre-existing conditions, such as genetic disorders, asthma or chronic illness, cannot be barred from coverage.
There are already a few tenets in effect: children can remain on their parents' insurance until age 26, no lifetime limits on coverage, and children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage.
However, the most contentious and so-called unconstitutional aspect of the Affordable Care Act is the individual mandate clause. While Americans cannot be compelled to purchase insurance, justices have decided a tax can be imposed for those who choose to go uninsured.
Beginning in 2014, those who opt out will pay a $285 per family fine, or one percent of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, the fine increases to $2,085 per family or two and a half percent of income.
Why not put that fine towards purchasing health insurance?
For Americans my age, having coverage is part of being a responsible adult. After I transitioned from my parents' coverage to my own after being married at age 21, I have always been covered, even if it has been expensive and even if I rarely use it.
For healthy people, health insurance is like home insurance: there in case of disaster.
While the Affordable Care Act is nowhere near perfect, it is a step in the right direction for overhauling the mess that has become our nation's healthcare system.
November will soon be a pivotal point in determining the Act's future.
Life is like a perpetual kindergarten. People may grow up, but still remain childish, arguing over petty things.
What once was "Gimme it back! That's my toy; I had it first!" has now turned into "My health insurance! Don't touch! I had it first!"
People may learn bigger words and slightly better ways to squabble, but some things never change.
* Ashley Miller is a member of the news staff. Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org