Campus News

Reform concerns faculty and students

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On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. This act, together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, constitute the health care reform that has been dubbed “Obamacare.” Some Americans wholeheartedly support the reform. Some are apprehensive. Some predict the end of decency and democracy in America. John Boehner, house minority leader in Congress, called the reform “Armageddon” (Foxnews.com). “After I signed the bill,” said Obama in a speech on April 1, “I looked around. I looked up at the sky to see if asteroids were coming. I looked at the ground to see if cracks had opened up in the earth. You know what, it turned out it was a pretty nice day” (Obama-speech.org). The world hasn’t ended yet, but many Bethel students and faculty are uneasy about the reform. “One of my biggest problems is that this law is unconstitutional,” said senior Matty Sommer. “The Constitution is clear that the federal government cannot regulate intrastate commerce.” “I suspect that this reform will eventually lead to availability of basic health care for more people, with the tradeoffs of more taxes, higher health insurance costs and less availability of advanced health care,” said professor Christian Davis. “I am frustrated that the government refused to include tort reform, which could have cut medical costs noticeably without hurting anyone except lawyers.” Students expressed concern on what they call the potential dangers of the reform. “In Canada and Europe where this kind of thing is already a norm, yes, it sounds great that health care is free and ‘available,’ if you can live at least six months for that free operation,” said senior Chelsie Bennett. While many are wary of the reform, some stand in favor of it. “While it may be flawed, it is a step in the right direction,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous. “I believe that everyone deserves to receive help when they are sick or need to see the doctor. The health care companies weren’t willing to do it, so the government stepped in and is offering this service. I think people are up in arms about this because they think this is a socialist takeover. In reality the insurance companies are still making money, and that’s capitalism.”
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