President Obama’s health insurance program, dubbed “Obamacare” by many, continues to be scrutinized by the nation. Meanwhile, BYU students strive to understand the changes involved with the new health care policies.
The Affordable Care Act’s website gives information to specific demographics and how they will be affected. Young adults under 26 can still be insured unless parents have an existing work-based coverage. In 2014, anyone making less than $15,000 may qualify for coverage through Medicaid.
But the Supreme Court has changed a few things. Most importantly, the Medicaid expansion has been made optional, meaning states that do not opt into the expansion will no longer be penalized. The court ruled states can no longer have existing Medicaid funding stripped if they choose not to comply with the expansion.
Utah’s GOP leaders are not making a decision until after the presidential election.
According to The Hill’s Healthwatch, 15 governors announced they do not support the Supreme Court’s optional Medicaid expansion. The Utah Health Policy Project takes a different stance.
HUPP aims to help BYU students and residents better understand the benefits of the new Affordable Care Act.
According to HUPP, “It would be fiscally, economically, not to mention morally, irresponsible to opt out of the Medicaid expansion.” The organization encourages residents to visit their website to see the numbers and a more detailed explanation of why HUPP supports the medicaid expansion for Utah.
Shelly Braun, the reform initiatives director at HUPP, said she feels this expansion is not optional at all.
“Health insurance is the door all Americans have to walk through to get health coverage. If states don’t expand the program, this will affect the lower working class of our population that have jobs that usually do not include health benefits,” Braun said. “Many of them work part time jobs, and so there is this whole population that can’t afford to buy private insurance.”
The website allows for anyone whose life will be helped by the Medicaid expansion to post their story onto the website.
Beyond the good nature behind the act, many still wonder who will going to pay for it.
The federal government will cover 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion expenses, but that will not last forever. By 2020, 90 percent of the costs will be covered by the federal government.
According to the Utah Medicaid director Michael Hales the first 10 years alone will cost $240 million in state taxes.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 55 percent of registered voters believe the health care law is, in effect, a tax hike. In the same poll, 49 percent of voters believed the Supreme Court should have tried to repeal the health care law.