Obama health care program, it must be remembered that prior to the enactment of such legislation the United States was the only developed country in the world to not have a universal health care system for its citizens (Fein). Although the Obama health care program is a step forward there are still loopholes in said program that leave some segments of American society without adequate insurance coverage.
One of the most frequently cited arguments against the Obama health care plan is the fear it constitutes socialized medicine (Iglehart). For many Americans, even the tinge of possible socialism causes concerns and makes many individuals close their mind to anything that they feel is socialistic. The problem, however, is that many people do not understand what socialism is. If the Obama plan were to be considered as an attempt to socialize the delivery of health care services in the United States the entire industry would have to operate under the direction of the government. All health care professionals would be employees of the government and there is no profit incentive. Under the Obama plan, all health care professionals remain independent and profit is still a motivating factor. What the Obama plan does is expand health care insurance in the United States. By building on the existing health insurance system, the Obama plan provides insurance coverage for that large number of individuals who did not have prior coverage and brings them within the realm of the insured.
Sometime in the fall of 2012 the United States Supreme Court will actually rule on the constitutionality of the Obama health insurance reform legislation (Balkin). The opponents of said legislation have managed to bring a case before said body in an effort to challenge the constitutionality of the Obama plan. The theory behind this alleged unconstitutionality is that the plan is an over extension of the powers granted Congress under the language of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Opponents argue that the Commerce Clause grants Congress only the right to regulate economic activity and not economic inactivity (Hall). In essence, they are arguing that forcing an individual to engage in an economic transaction (i.e. purchasing insurance) with a private entity is unconstitutional. Proponents of the Obama plan argue that Congress has the ability to redistribute revenues for the public purposes and ensuring the health of the public is a legitimate exercise of governmental power and authority. How the Supreme Court might decide on this issue is still in the air but its determination will go a long way toward deciding the ultimate viability of the Obama health care plan.
One of the problems with traditional health insurance coverage is that for most Americans such coverage is dependent upon continued employment. Lose a job and there is a strong likelihood that you are now uninsured. Although a temporary program, COBRA, exists that allows you to maintain your coverage for a short period of time such coverage is quite expensive and often not as extensive as the employer funded program (Retsinas). Under the Obama plan, losing one's employment does not mean the loss of your health insurance.
There is also strong argument that the Obama plan will actually reduce costs. Presently, a large percentage of individuals, who are without health insurance of any kind, use the nation's emergency rooms as their primary care physicians. Because emergency rooms are forced to see all patients regardless of whether or not they have insurance coverage the costs of providing such services are passed along to consumers and insurance companies. Obama's health care plan would spread this cost out so that there would be no need to have these costs absorbed by those who are insured (American Medical Association). Everyone would be insured and there would no need to shift uncovered costs.
In a related issue an argument has also been offered that the Obama plan may serve to eliminate one of the primary causes of personal bankruptcy in America. Prior to the enactment of the Obama plan one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy was the accumulation of medical expenses that individuals were unable to pay. The Obama plan provides everyone with medical insurance coverage and there should, therefore, be little occasion for anyone to accumulate large, unpaid medical bills. Proponents, however, take a much…