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by Shannon Williams

When President Barack Obama initially implemented the health care law in 2010, I knew there would be challenges in the future and even a possible bid to overturn it. I took for granted however, the fever in which something that was devised to help people, would cause such contention from political opponents and even the country’s highest court.

The U.S. Supreme Court held a series of hearings last week in reference to the health care reform law. Their largest complaint seems to be the law’s mandate for all Americans to have health insurance, or pay a tax penalty fine.

Data show that younger Americans are less likely to purchase insurance because they are generally healthier and simply don’t feel they need it. Some Supreme Court justices say the mandate is especially unfair to the younger generation.

While those justices may be correct in that regard, it’s important to also look at the needs of the masses. Among those masses are more than 40 million people who do not have health insurance. Their lack of insurance can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including employers not offering it or the fact that many individuals simply cannot afford health insurance. Many of the millions of the uninsured are not eligible for government assistance, so they have to do without quality health care and insurance.

This is not fair for one of the world’s richest countries.

I think it’s a problem when senior citizens only take half of their prescribed medications because they can’t afford the increasing costs of prescription drugs. Nor is it fair that a hard-working mother and father who have health insurance still have to worry about their child’s cancer treatment because their insurance cap is an amount that is considerably less than the treatment needed to sustain their daughter’s life. And it is unfair that a single mother who makes five dollars more than the amount allowed to be considered for government assistance cannot get needed care.

Health care reform is a win-win that needs to stay intact. I hope the Supreme Court understands this before making their ruling on the issue later this year.

One Indianapolis resident said it best when she stated, “If the Supreme Court throws out the mandate for health insurance, then I will cancel my automobile insurance. Isn’t that a mandate as well?”

(Email comments to Shannon Williams at shannonw@indyrecorder.com. Reprinted from the Indianapolis Recorder)

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