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Law professor state of health care

By Amanda Duncan

Sept. 27, 2012

Assistant professor at Cleveland State’s Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Gwendolyn Majette, gave a lecture on Sept. 18 as part of the Constitution Day programs on the PPACA and the Supreme Court’s decision analyzing the implications of the opinion and its impact on future efforts to improve health care in the United States.

President Obama and Congress attempted to address the problems of health care by passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.

The PPACA requires all Americans to purchase medical insurance or face a fine. This led to the challenge of whether or not this law is constitutional.

The Supreme Court handed down its decision in June. It ruled that Congress does not have authority under the Commerce clause of the Constitution to require individuals to own a minimum level of insurance but it does have the authority to use its taxation authority to impose a coverage mandate.

Majette’s discussion was through her eyes as a professional who has spent her career working on law and health care issues, among other things.

She laid out the issues of the health care system here in the United States. She broke it down to three main things: access, quality and cost, and showed in each different areas where the problems were. She defined insurance and dissected the Supreme Court’s decision on each challenge that was brought forth.

Health care is not necessarily the first thing that students at Cleveland State consider an important issue, but with the upcoming Presidental elections in November, it may be one of the deciding factors in what candidate students choose to vote for.

“He’s brought some attention to the issue of health care but Obamacare isn’t necessarily the perfect solution,” said James Flis, a health science major.

A positive aspect of PPACA is that students can remain on their parents insurance until they are 26. This may help students, who may think that they are invincible, cope with unexpected illness.

“My dad and I talk about how young people are risk takers and they do think that they are invincible,” said Orit Coleman. “Most people are careless and don’t think that things will happen to them and they don’t worry about it.”

Students, however, may not feel the need to have insurance and this mandate may not come to their liking.

“I don’t need the federal government butting into my personal life,” Steven T. Mortensen said. “I don’t think they have any right to tell me what I can and can’t do. I have my own insurance and I think that it shouldn’t be forced on us, it should be a choice.”

While Mitt Romney opposes PPACA, he still realizes the importance of health care in the United States. Romney’s plan is to let states regulate the health care market. He stated that his first priority is repealing the PPACA and giving the states the power to regulate the health care market and decide what is best for their citizens.

During his governorship, Romney passed legislation for a state-controlled health care. It has differences and similarities to Obama’s PPACA but it is an issue of importance. Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts recently has seen some funding issues.

Neither candidate’s plan on health care is perfect but depending on a student’s situation or beliefs in life, one candidate may be a better choice than the other. However, President Obama has not taken a stance about PPACA on the campaign trail.