Universal Health Care and Why You Should Care

Universal Health Care, Obamacare, and Amendment 69

With all the craziness that was surrounding this election a late thought to most people is the amendments that were being passed. One that hit right at home was Amendment 69,  also known as the Colorado Care Amendment. It wasn’t passed, but it was one of the first citizen initiatives to change the Colorado Constitution, which would provide Universal Health Care to all Colorado residents. It took 100,000 signatures to even get it on the ballot and some pretty big names campaigned throughout the state trying to get some movement behind the amendment, including Bernie Sanders.

Health care has been a consistent topic which has been brought up throughout the years, especially with Obama launching Obamacare while in office. President elect, Donald Trump, is planning on repealing it while in office, yet it is written in the Act that it would take six years to repeal. Obamacare is pretty simple, it works to expand health insurance coverage to the 15% of the American population who do not have health coverage, these being people who receive none from their employers and are not covered by any programs for the poor or elderly. Obamacare also made it so employers were still required to provide health coverage for employees with pre-existing medical conditions. It required all Americans to have health insurance, but the plan labeled as the Affordable Care Act worked to try and make it more affordable. The act works to slow America’s cost of health care, which is the highest in the world.

What makes Obamacare controversial is the fact that many conservatives thought that a lot of employers would suffer, since companies that have more than 50 full time employees had to provide health insurance. They also thought that it was almost an invasion into the privacy of private companies, and the common thought process was a raise in taxes if you no longer used a private health insurance provider.

A lot of talk around President elect Trump repealing it has caused an uprise, for if Obamacare was to be repealed around 22 million Americans would lose their health coverage. Obamacare got the percentage of uncovered Americans down to 5%. The likelihood of that happening is slim, yet with a Republican Senate, there is possibility that the senate could work with Trump to change certain aspects of the act.

Now going back to Universal Health Care, the push for Amendment 69 in Colorado was pretty groundbreaking. If it were passed, this would mean that every Colorado state resident would have automatic health care, which would come with a lot of benefits, but would still need to get a private health insurance. It would mean an increase in taxes, but in the long run would be highly beneficial. No longer would there be a fear of not being covered if something were to happen to you or a family member since the act would cover:

  • ambulatory patient services, including primary and specialty care
  • hospitalization
  • prescription drugs and medical equipment
  • mental health services and substance abuse services, including behavioral health treatment
  • emergency and urgent care
  • preventive and wellness services
  • chronic disease management
  • rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • pediatric care, including oral, vision, and hearing services
  • laboratory services, maternity, and newborn care
  • palliative and end-of-life care

Countries all around the world with Universal Health Care have been compared in studies and systems and have been found to greatly reduce the overall cost to the public. Whether you are for or against Universal health care, consider the impact it would have on the State and country next time you see the option on the ballot.