“Landmark” Illuminates Obamacare

May 18, 2012

Anyone who pays attention to current events is probably aware that the healthcare reform plan passed in 2010 (dubbed Obamacare) is under attack. In fact, so many people were outraged by certain portions of the plan (like the part where having insurance is mandatory) that the Supreme Court will now have to decide whether or not the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional (either in part or in its entirety). This is unfortunate news for anyone who was enjoying the additional healthcare benefits provided by the plan thus far (students, elderly, and the uninsured masses). But in order to understand why the plan is under attack you may first need to know what it entails and how it got passed in the first place. The Washington Post has provided a handy tutorial for the public at large with their publication “Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All”.

You first need to understand that the healthcare system as we know it originated as part of New Deal politics. With people unable to pay for personal health care, doctors unable to collect fees for their services, and medical insurance a virtual non-entity, the government heard a call for reform and an organized system of healthcare was established. Of course, people have been fighting it ever since; in the 75+ years since the Great Depression, the Obama Administration has been the first to produce and pass significant legislation in the arena of healthcare reform. But how did he manage it?

Well, for starters, it took quite a while to draft the legislation. Although Obama produced a basic outline for healthcare reform during his campaign for presidency in 2008 (mainly as a way to compete with Hillary, who used the topic as her primary platform), it took some time to hammer out the details. And even when the plan was complete, his administration spent more than a year adding earmarks, removing contentious sections, and making deals in an effort to convince Congress to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And incredibly, Obama’s single-minded efforts paid off and the bill was passed by both houses of Congress in 2010. Despite overwhelming republican opposition and even some democratic dissent, this unlikely bill actually became a law.

But of course, “Landmark” has a lot more to offer. The first section of this audio book center on how the law was implausibly passed, but then listeners will get a 101 class on what Obamacare actually entails (in summary – no master in health administration required to suss out the finer points of this medical legislation), followed by the information that every American is eager to know. What impact will this reform have on your everyday life? What will it mean for the uninsured, those with pre-existing conditions, small business owners, and the general public?

The ending of this story has yet to be written as the Supreme Court continues their debate over the future of Obamacare. But until they deliver their final ruling you can content yourself with learning about how this law came into effect in the first place and why it has been the target of so much ire since its inception. Although it is likely that at least portion of the act will be struck down and removed from the law, it behooves you to understand the rest so that you can be sure to take advantage of any benefits you’re due under whatever is left of Obamacare.

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