Students react to Obamacare

Sam Urrea and Sam Urrea

Obamacare has been a big topic of debate among Americans since President Barack Obama signed the act on March 23, 2010. The case is no different on the American River College campus.

Since the start of his presidency, Obama has reiterated his intent to let Americans choose their own medical insurance. Despite this, the law enforces all citizens to purchase accessible treatment.

Formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the program will take full effect January 1, 2014, requiring all Americans to be medically covered.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, reported by the LA Times, more than 106,000 people obtained private insurance coverage through federally-run exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. The exchanges served 36 states.

The federal government had hoped that at least 500,000 would enroll in the first month.

Such shortcomings have not surprised students. Madison Kilian, an English major, put the lack of popularity down to the bad running of the website but also people’s unfounded opinions.

“The implementation of the website could have been handled a lot better,” said Kilian. “But people also like to voice their opinions when they talk about the subject when they do not have any idea. It’s giving it a bad image.”

Dyan Pease, a Los Rios District finance teacher, sees flaws in Obamacare, but appreciates its advantages.

“The program is great for young people just starting out,” said Pease. “People should also be happy the law requires insurers to provide many free services. It is less expensive to keep people healthy than to fix them once they are sick.”

Pease also believes the act would eventually be accepted into society.

“I think the (Affordable Care Act) will probably evolve over time as society figures out how to make it work.” Pease added.

Despite these benefits, 68% percent of Americans will not be able to keep their current insurance plan under Obamacare, according to health care economist Christopher Conover.

One student who may be affected by the implementation of the act is biology major Kaleb Sledge.

Sledge is covered under his father’s medical insurance, and does not like the prospect of having to make new arrangements.

“My family and I are covered under the same plan,” said Sledge “If it changed, we would not be happy. I find Obamacare stupid.”

The president’s approval rating has gone down significantly since the start of his tenure, leaving only 41% percent of America’s sentiments in his favor.

The Affordable Care Act will be taking full effect in a matter of weeks, but it seems the act will continue to stir debate for years to come.