Daily Egyptian

Six things you should know about the ACA

By Muriel Berry

A poster advertising an event to extensively explain the implications of the Affordable Care Act caught my attention.

Taking place the day before election day on a college campus full of precocious young adults, one would expect this event to pique others’ interest as well. I planned to walk into Lawson 231 for the Affordable Care Act lecture and see many other students who wished to be enlightened on America’s healthcare reformation.

Instead, two others greeted me: the event organizer and the speaker. Needless to say, I was appalled by the turn out—or lack thereof—but things got worse when I was handed an outline for the changes the ACA would implement.


It was an 11-page packet full of political jargon, all of which severely confused me. Luckily, I was able to have an intimate conversation with healthcare management professor Leslie Lloyd about what it all meant.

Still, I found myself wondering ‘How will other students figure out the meaning of all this if they don’t attend events like these?’ It would be nearly impossible for them to gain true insight on the important changes to their laws and governance.

There’s a saying that if a contact with the devil was written away in Terms of Conditions, millions of young adults would be soulless. I never understood how true that is. Being educated on issues and doing something about them is our right and responsibility as citizens. If a people see things being done they do not like, they have to understand what is problematic and take it upon themselves to fix it.

Sitting around blaming other people for your ignorance, or complaining about everything that is wrong will always be more convienient. For this reason, many Americans, especially young adults generally have no sense of internal political understanding, and rely on the government to educate them.

Maybe this carelessness in young adults stems from a distorted sense of reality of their futures and responsibilities. They believe they are invincible and the question, ‘Why worry about this now, when I can worry about this later?’ plagues them on a daily basis. But what happens when you find yourself in the emergency room after a car accident? Who is going to pay that bill? And where is the money going to come from?

The fact is the resources for students to find the answers to all of these questions are right here. At SIU—a research facility—there are lectures, books and databases to learn about the Affordable Care Act and other similar laws.

Unfortunately, students just don’t care, and here are six reasons they should.

Six things you should know about the ACA: 

  1. If you don’t have essential benefit packages that are ACA compliant, you have to make a Share Responsibility Payment. This payment increases yearly. In 2014, the federal government will charge citizens $95 per adult in the household, in 2015, $325 and in 2016, $695.
  2. Thirty-two million Americans are uninsured and will be affected by the mandate.
  3. For insurance to be qualified as an essential benefit package it must offer certain benefits, including: preventative services, wellness checks for children and annual checkups for seniors.
  4. Medicaid has expanded in Illinois for citizens younger than 65.
  5. Some states are permitted to prohibit plans that provide coverage for abortions.
  6. The ACA is the biggest healthcare mandate since Medicaid was established in 1965.


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