By Camila Costa and Dorah Labatte
Earlier this week, Senate decided not to vote on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, which had the intention of repealing Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act.
For better understanding of the Obamacare, John Thomas, a Law Professor at Quinnipiac University explains it in five steps:
1. There is a mandate that every individual has to have insurance.
2. There is a mandate that large scale employers provide insurance.
3. It is prohibited to deny coverage.
4. Pre-existing conditions are taken care of.
5. People up to the age of 26 can be on their parents’ health insurance.
The Graham-Cassidy bill, if passed, would have changed many of those steps, described by Professor Sean Duffy, from the Political Science Department at Quinnipiac University:
1. Health care would be transferred back to the state level.
2. Resources would be transferred from states that got more funding under Obamacare to states that did not.
3. The shrinking of the federal spending overall.
States like Connecticut, which is already struggling with their budget, would have lost a lot of federal funding to states like Arizona and Oklahoma. According to Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, Michelle Miller, several programs would have to be cut in Connecticut if the bill passed.
When surveyed this week, many Quinnipiac students knew what was happening and had an opinion formed about the health care debate. The majority said they did not have enough knowledge to form an educated judgment.
GRAPH QUINNIPIAC STUDENTS
Miller agrees with the 42.6 percent of students that are opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill. She believes most people do not realize that the block grants to the state would end in 2026 and that Congress would have to pass a new law.
“Why you should care?” Miller asks, “Someday you’re going to be buying health insurance. Someday you’re going to need coverage for your own family and we are right now in a very large debate for what health insurance landscape should look like in this country.”
One of the main concerns were people with pre-existing conditions. With the Graham-Cassidy bill, insurance companies could charge ten or twenty times more, which would have made it nearly impossible for those people to buy health insurance, according to Duffy.
“Many people who need medical care would have lost medical care,” said Duffy.
The Graham-Cassidy bill did not mandate every individual to buy health insurance, which would jeopardize the economy of the country. As a result of that, young and healthy people that wanted to wait to buy insurance until they were older or sick would spend more money because it would be more expensive by then.
Professor Thomas estimates the number of people not getting insurance due to less grant being given to states and the Graham-Cassidy not mandating people to have insurance would be about 50 million.
All three professors and a great number of Quinnipiac students were opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill, however, the vast majority still did not know what the bill was about.
Professor Duffy believes Quinnipiac and the U.S. need educated people in order to make these decisions, and so he posed a question for Quinnipiac students to think about.
“Are we actually going to have a functioning government that actually tries to solve problems or are we going to have a government that is creating more problems?”