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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Understanding healthcare reform

By Brandon William Peach

Do a little experiment: ask five people, any five people, what Obamacare means and what it will accomplish. Chances are you'll get five different answers. This is because many people don't fully understand healthcare reform in the United States, and the opinions surrounding healthcare reform have a tendency to obscure the facts. However, because Obamacare is already being rolled out, it's critical to know what to expect. Here are the top five reasons why understanding healthcare reform is important.

1. Healthcare reform is complex

Obamacare is a fairly sweeping reform. Although many guides have been developed to simplify and demystify it, it's sure to have a ripple effect across the entire economy - for instance, businesses will be held to entirely new standards once the reform goes into full effect. 

2. It will affect you (and your family!)

Some people think that Obamacare will affect them and their family inordinately, while others think because they have insurance through their job, it won't affect them at all. The fact is, Obamacare will almost certainly affect you in some way. If you have insurance, some of your co-pays and preventative care measures may actually be reduced or free due to Obamacare. If you have no insurance, you'll have to get insurance or pay a penalty.

3. You may need to explain healthcare reform

When it comes to healthcare reform, "I don't know" simply isn't a reasonable answer, especially if you're in a position where you'll need to explain healthcare reform. Teachers and parents are especially likely to face questions from younger children, who will undoubtedly hear people saying things both good and bad about healthcare reform. Educate yourself so that you can answer questions knowledgably.

4. Healthcare reform may leave you with choices

The fact of the matter is, no matter what Obamacare means for the economy at large, it may in fact prove beneficial to you personally. You may be eligible for a less expensive plan, or one that offers better coverage (and if you're lucky, maybe even both!). Whether or not your employer offers you insurance, healthcare reform is aimed at improving health in the United States, and is likely to help you in some way.

5. It's important to be informed

Finally, and crucially, being informed about these things is important. Everyone's entitled to his opinion - but a good opinion is earned on the basis of the facts. Armed with those facts, you'll be empowered to take full advantage of Obamacare (whether or not you agree with the reform!), and you'll be able to help others to do the same. 

Although the political debate around healthcare reform has been heated, and even though things may change in the future, it looks like Obamacare is here to stay. Take advantage of the knowledge out there (and take advantage of any benefits, of course) and stay on top of things!

You can start your research below. RankPop has developed a fun and shareable infographic titled "Obamacare Simplified for Children (and Adults!). Check it out!
The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare increases Americans' access to healthcare coverage
Medicaid expansion is believed to give 16 million people access to healthcare coverage

About the author: Brandon William Peach is a writer across many topics, including religion, pop culture, literature, marketing, politics, human rights, and animal welfare. His work has been featured at RankPop, RELEVANT Magazine, Lure of Mac, I Think I Believe, Existimatum, and much more. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonPeach.

* Infographic: Author owned and licensed