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Can Obamacare fix what ails American’s health care system?

9/6/2013, 4:16 p.m.

By Sylvina Poole

Richmonders, as well as the nation, stand divided on the topic of universal health care. Many are simply sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see if the new health care reform plan does what it promises.

The Affordable Health Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare by Republicans, gets a shot in the arm from the opposition while lawmakers are grappling with explaining to constituents how to navigate through the new health care system when it launches.

Their constituents, who depend on their guidance are also caught in the midst of the confusion.

On one hand, those in staunch opposition of the federal mandate feel the implementation of the legislation could be an accident just waiting to happen since many do not have a thorough understanding of this law.

And on the other hand, supporters of Obamacare feel that these critics just want to dismantle and undermine any health care reform efforts and stunt progress.

Because those standing on both sides of this issue have legitimate claims of concern has helped to fuel the pandemonium about Obamacare.

The Affordable Health Care Act is one of the most talked about, controversial laws enacted in this century. What’s troubling to some are the details of how the health care reform will impact the city of Richmond as well as the state and nationally.

Since the passing of President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law, the national sentiment on this universal health care coverage attempt has been a political hot potato among legislators as well as the people the legislation was intended to assist — the uninsured.

Lawmakers, especially Republicans, in states like Virginia feel they are being strong-armed into complying with the federal mandate to create a system that promotes universal insurance coverage for its residents.

Virginia attorney general’s failed attempt at having the law reversed in Congress or having the Supreme Court strike t down was unsuccessful. This could be the reason, lawmakers have taken a relaxed stance on educating residents about the new health care law.

Still, resistance to the transition remains steady while others are welcoming the much-needed change to the current health care system.

The old adage rings true that ‘you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.’ Obamacare is a case in point.

Nearly one million people are without insurance in Virginia. Under the Affordable Health Care Act, individuals will go to “exchanges” available online or by telephone to shop for affordable insurance coverage. States across the country have been given the option of implementing their own exchange system or leaving the task up to the federal government.

Beginning Oct. 1, people can enroll for health insurance with coverage effective Jan. 1. Individuals will also learn whether they are eligible for subsidies to decrease the costs of insurance premiums or qualify for Medicaid, a federal-state administered program for the poor.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, nine million people will get private health insurance through the exchanges for 2014 and 11 million will get Medicaid.