Political Science Program Host Health Care Discussion
By Albert Shelby
March 5, 2012
The political science department at Missouri Western sponsored a Health Care Reform discussion concerning the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.
President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in March 2010, with the hope of solving the health care crisis that our nation is currently facing: nearly 50 million Americans are currently living without health insurance.
“I believe the Government exist to help organize citizens to solve these types of collective issues,” Dr. Edward Taylor, Assistant Professor of Political Science, said. “This legislation is constitutional and is a very important step in solving our health care problems.”
One of the biggest issues that the act faces is its constitutionality. The Supreme Court will have to make a decision about the two key provisions. The first states most Americans will have to purchase and maintain health insurance. If an individual does not obtain health insurance, an annual penalty must be paid to the government until that individual does so.
The second provision discusses the expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program, the goal of which is to provide health care for the poor and disabled.
The on-campus discussion, in which both students and professors participated, was split. Some individuals felt the plan was needed, and some were concerned with their own rights and the constitutionality of the act.
It was argued that if nothing is done to solve the health care crisis, the nation will continue to rack up debt that will only increase by the year 2014.
Student Alex Radke attended the discussion and felt that all of the opinions stated were very understandable and should not be overlooked by any means. He also noted how these types of discussions are important for students because of what it could mean for them in the future.
“A lot of students are not aware of the big topics in politics,” Radke said. “This actually gave them good examples of what’s happening with politics today.”
Student Sterling Fichter is against the individual mandate, but found the discussion very interesting because he was able to hear others opinions and views of the subject.
“I take a very strict and constructionist view of the constitution,” Fichter said. “If you go back through their writings, you could see that the founders will say that the constitution needs to be interpreted strictly to the way it was meant when it was written.”
Student Tyrone Williams attended the discussion and feels that the Affordable Care Act is the only reasonable option right now. He feels that time is running out and because of the fact that so many people are jobless, the situation will only get worst.
“This needs to happen,” Williams said. “People are losing jobs, and they are not able to afford the hospital bills that they left with. This health care package is going to help everyone.”