By Bobby Girgenti
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – For many, health care is a struggle to get and a burden to keep.
The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, was intended to be the solution to this problem. The ACA requires every United States citizen to have health insurance.
However, some college students, who in most cases do not hold a full-time job and therefore don’t receive health insurance through their employer, cannot afford the basic health insurance plan required by the ACA, although subsidies may be available to them.
Gianni D’Antonio, a student at Camden County College, said the law is hard on students such as him. “I’m a college student and a baseball player. I am basically at school as much as I would be at work during a 9-to-5 job. I barely have enough time to even work a few hours at night as a delivery driver. I don’t know how the government expects me to pay for health insurance, let alone gas for my car.”
President Donald Trump pointed out these flaws. He proposed allowing health insurance companies to offer cheaper but weaker health insurance plans than the ACA requires. The U.S. Congress tried several times to address the issue. So far, their intentions have yielded few results.
The rights and protections provided by the ACA vary depending on the individual.
“Some rights and protections apply to plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace or other individual insurance, some apply to job-based plans, and some apply to all health coverage,” according to HealthCare.gov.
Insurance plans under the ACA vary depending on the financial situation of the individual. Saving money by buying cheaper plans may benefit college students who do not work full time but the plans may not cover as many conditions or may cover them as much as more expensive plans, which could mean students do not seek the health care they need.
John Merkh, head baseball coach at Camden County College, said increasing the number of insurance options would benefit students. “In my eyes, it would help most students at CCC. It gives them more options to select from, depending on financial stability, and offers drug treatment and rehab. However, it may hurt older people. They could lose coverage on pre-existing conditions or have to pay higher premiums.”
Brett Binczak, a student at Camden County College, said the ACA works for him. “I go to school full time and am still able to work full time and afford good health insurance. I feel like it depends on who you are and if you are willing to go to school and work. Everybody is different and has different things to worry about in their lives.”