The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey /
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Obama’s initiative makes health insurance mandatory

Healthcare reform championed by President Barack Obama could provide students nationwide with affordable health insurance.

Just a month after his inauguration, Obama told Congress that America’s healthcare system is driving families and small businesses into bankruptcy.

Legislation proposed by Obama, Max Baucus and other members of Congress would make it illegal for insurance companies to drop coverage due to a pre-existing condition or when a person is sick. Proposed legislation would eliminate yearly and lifetime caps on coverage and put a cap on patient out-of-pocket expenses.

Also, individuals would be welcome to keep their current coverage, if they have any. For Americans without health insurance, a public insurance option would be available.

New laws would require insurance companies to cover preventive care and provide competitive rates in a new insurance marketplace-exchange. New tax credits and low-cost coverage via government subsidies would be available for individuals and small businesses.

Additionally, Obama’s reform would make health insurance mandatory for all Americans in the same way auto insurance is a requirement for all drivers. This policy was developed by the late Ted Kennedy with Obama’s approval.

City College nurse Wendy Gomez agrees with such a mandate and supports the need for reform.
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“The system we have now, which is basically Medicare, doesn’t work for everybody,” Gomez said.

Students especially, Gomez believes, generally do not qualify for Medicare and cannot afford private insurance. Often it’s assumed students are young and therefore healthy but that is not always the case.

“Studying Canada’s system,” Gomez said, “I think that totally socialized medicine is not good. They were flooded, it took too long to get in, to see a doctor, to get treatment, to get testing done.”

“Everybody gets sick. We all need health insurance,” sociology major Lee Harper said.

Harper pointed to the hefty cost of emergency room visits by the uninsured, noting that such visits drive up medical costs.

As of July 3, all three necessary Senate committees approved plans to revamp the healthcare system, making the issue of funding the current hot button. Reform critics are in an uproar over financing amid the increasing national deficit.

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