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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Opinion

While Affordable Care Act strives to benefit all Americans, some collateral damage has occurred


Going into week three of the government shutdown, there is no way you haven’t heard of it by now. Even the Taliban has started to criticize the federal shutdown, according to a Daily Mail article. Likewise, there is no way you haven’t heard about the Affordable Care Act, which is, after all, at the center of the shutdown. That and stubborn, pig-headed Congress members — but let’s focus on the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

This oh-so-confusing and controversial piece of legislation is causing problems not only for Congress, but especially for the country’s people, even without the government shutdown. Case in point — Michael Cerpok, a Fountain Hills, Ariz. man who ABC 15 said might not survive because of the new legislation.

According to ABC 15, Cerpok received a letter from his current insurance company stating that, starting Jan. 1, he will have to pay a minimum of $26,000 out-of-pocket instead of the $4,500 he currently pays on his $350,000 leukemia treatment. Cerpok is not the only victim, according to medical blogger Dr. Edward Pullen.

“The Affordable Care Act will make insurers unable to exclude Americans with serious health problems from enrolling in insurance plans,” Pullen wrote in an article on KevinMD.com. “This is among the most popular aspects of Obamacare. It is also the most likely explanation for huge premium increases in plans for individuals not on employer group policies.”

Although Cerpok’s situation is sad, what he says later in the article is irksome and makes him ever so slightly less worthy of sympathy. According to the article, “Michael realizes millions of people will benefit from the coverage, but he wants them to realize that others are making sacrifices to make that happen.”

Having people “realize that others are making sacrifices” is useless. If anything, what he says makes it seem like uninsured people, possibly with preexisting conditions like him, are to blame for his having to pay more, thereby making them feel guilty.

Furthermore, even Cerpok admits that there are other options for those in his situation — other insurance plans and companies are available.

It would be illogical to say that a rise in premium prices is not troublesome, but no piece of legislation is perfect and this is the trade-off for allowing other sick people like Cerpok to receive access to much-needed medical treatments.

Opinion columnist Monica Rojas is a print journalism sophomore and may be reached at [email protected] dailycougar.com

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