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Davis, California

Monday, April 22, 2024

ObamaCare goes to the Supreme Court

Two and a half million young adults in America today have health insurance because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Commonly known as ObamaCare, this initiative allows those under the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans.

This could change if the United States Supreme Court rules against PPACA, the federal statute signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010.

Without ObamaCare, young adults can only receive coverage from their parent’s plan until age 18, unless they have status as a full-time student, which could prolong coverage until graduation or grant them access to university plans.

The Supreme Court ruling on PPACA could result in a complete or partial upholding or overruling of the statute. In its entirety, the PPACA has over 15 provisions, including a requirement for individual mandates, increased regulation of the private health insurance industry and public health insurance programs. It also offers increased insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions, expanded access to insurance to 30 million Americans, increased projected national medical spending and lowered projected Medicare spending.

Graduating students have become a key focus of the Supreme Court decision because of the protection they will receive if it passes and the lack of coverage they will have if it doesn’t.

“I do not see any other reason why this law should be repealed,” said junior political science major Ruy Laredo.

Laredo added that on top of providing security to high school and college grads, PPACA reforms healthcare to provide a patient’s bill of rights, and will eventually help cut down the deficit.

The number of students who secure jobs after college is becoming increasingly smaller, dropping from 90 percent in 2006 to 56 percent in 2010, according to a study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

The national class of 2012 will include about 2.4 million students that are graduating with bachelor’s and associate’s degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Those graduates will not only go head-to-head with each other, but also with the 9.9 percent of other currently unemployed Americans for increasingly diminished positions. There are more than five job seekers for every opening, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There’s more competition in the marketplace right now with the unemployment rate at 9.9%,” said Jason Ferrara, career adviser at Careerbuilder.com, an online job listing company. “There is more pressure for the college graduate.”

Fewer than half of employers (46 percent) plan to hire spring college grads for full-time positions this year, according to a separate poll by Monster.com, another online job listing company.

“I do not expect to get a job that provides me with benefits straight out of college,” said Caroline Moyer, a senior English and international relations major. Moyer is concerned about where she will get health coverage if the Supreme Court repeals PPACA.

“I feel safer with ObamaCare,” she added. “Things are so unreliable right now and without health care they will only be more unreliable.”

Other UC Davis students said they did not feel confident in their ability to land a job with health care benefits right out of college.

Non-employment health care options include private coverage like Cobra, which costs recipients an average of $400 a month for individual plans.

“There will be a gap in time between graduation and getting a job with health insurance,” said Larissa Epstein, a senior animal biology major.

Despite that, Epstein added that she is not sure about whether or not she thinks the PPACA should be upheld by the Supreme Court.

“With any huge reform you must proceed with caution and I am not confident that the specifics of this act will positively affect health care,” she said.

Like Epstein, other UC Davis students felt unsure and/or uninformed about the bill, displaying interest in learning more.

SARA ISLAS can be reached at city@theaggie.org.



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