After a week of intense struggle in Washington, the White House and Democrats in Congress passed a massive national health care reform.
Under the new legislation, those Americans currently unable to afford health insurance because of financial difficulty will soon be covered through government subsidies and Medicaid.
The health care battle started coming to a close on March 21. The House passed a bill that had already been approved by the Senate, along with a package of changes to that bill.
President Obama signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act into law on March 23.
Immediately afterwards, the Attorney Generals of 14 states—including Pennsylvania—filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the bill, saying that Congress does not have the authority to require all citizens to have health care.
Meanwhile, the package of changes went to the Senate to be debated.
Senate Republicans introduced numerous amendments to punch holes in the legislation but, by March 25, it had cleared both houses.
In each vote throughout the week, the bills received “nays” from Republican Congressman, and a few Democrats, who say the reform is too expensive and lacks the support of the American people.
Many students said they do not fully understand the health care law and its implications.
Some are optimistic about the changes it will bring, while others are hesitant to pass judgment until they have more information.
Sophomore Jon-Michael Odean hopes to get better health care coverage through the new reforms.
“Medical expenses are huge in my family,” Odean said. “Our insurance doesn’t really cover a lot of things.”
Senior Karen Vroon questioned whether President Obama’s executive order would actually keep the legislation from funding abortions.
Nevertheless, she said she was “mostly happy” with health care reform.
“It’s charitable and Christian to support measures that will give everybody health insurance,” Vroon said.