In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as constitutional. The decision angered many conservative politicians and citizens, and left liberals claiming a victory from the highest court. Many of the effects of Obamacare will not be felt by Americans until 2014, but students already are benefiting from the new law.
Thursday, the court ruled 5-4 that the law is constitutional, leaving many stunned with the decision, considering the majority of the court is conservative. Chief Justice John Roberts found the individual mandate requiring Americans to have insurance could be considered a tax, making it legal.
It is commendable to see Roberts cast aside his conservative bias, an action many did not expect. Although victory was professed by President Obama and his administration, many conservatives attacked the president who campaigned for the law with the declaration of the individual mandate as anything but a tax.
Regardless of the decision, conservatives will continue to work to repeal the law, including Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who says he will begin the process of repealing Obamacare if he wins the election in November.
Although the bill included many rules and stipulations, one facet of its content could benefit millions of college students. A provision of this bill allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they turn 26. This allows both college students and noncollege citizens the ability to still receive benefits from their parents’ plans during the few years after graduation.
Before this federal law was enacted, many young adults would be dropped from their parents’ insurance upon legal adulthood, depending on the parents’ insurance policy. Some also allowed students to stay on their parents’ plan until college graduation.
This part of the new law will benefit many teenagers who could face financial difficulties after moving out of their parents’ house to start taking college classes or begin looking for work. Now, citizens will no longer worry about having to purchase their own health insurance plan, as many young adults most likely would have chosen to spend their money on other things rather than to provide health care insurance for themselves, only to face extreme financial difficulty upon a medical emergency.
Many Republican lawmakers argue health care reform is necessary, but say Obamacare was not the correct solution. Romney says he and other Republicans will come up with a new plan for health care reform in place of Obamacare if he is elected to office. Regardless of whatever else they choose to include in the bill, the provision to allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26 should continue to be included. This will help to alleviate financial stress from young adults during their early years of independence after high school graduation.
Many of the economic and financial effects of Obamacare will not be felt by Americans until 2014, when most of the sections of the law will be in effect. Yet the immediate effect of this law that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until 26 is an important provision that should continue to be kept in place, regardless of disagreements about health care reform between the
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