Opinion

Saving lives and solving problems

Aside from the pejorative critics of the surreal media-driven political theater that resulted from the recent passage of the health care reform bill in partisan Washington, many Americans are still asking what effect the bill will have on them.

More specifically, what do the provisions in the nearly 2,000-page bill do for those most in need in South Florida?

According to a 2009 U.S. Census Bureau report, nearly 31 percent of Miami-Dade County’s residents are uninsured, placing the county among the worst in the nation. Additionally, the Jackson Health System is in dire financial straits and on the brink of bankruptcy.

Because the bill bans insurance companies from refusing coverage to someone due to a pre-existing condition, it will significantly affect those who are not yet old enough to qualify for Medicare and unable to afford unjustified sky-rocketing costs from big insurance. The new pool of citizens in South Florida able to purchase health insurance will dramatically increase, causing increased competition amongst insurance providers and, consequently, leading to lower premiums for everyone.

The bill will also subsidize private coverage for those in a low and middle-income bracket and will require employers to offer coverage to their employees or pay a penalty. These provisions will most directly affect thousands of South Floridians who fall into this income bracket or who own or work for small businesses. The new legislation could lead to nearly all of this group receiving full coverage- a stunning difference from the status quo.

Most controversially, the bill requires all citizens to have some sort of health insurance or pay a fine. This is the only direct government mandate for non-business owning citizens in the bill, but it could be the most significant element to the entire document.

Currently, under law, doctors and hospitals are required to treat anyone who is sent to the emergency room requiring immediate care. Those who are uninsured, however, usually receive their bill shortly after and are often discharged earlier than recommended because of the financial burden they present to the hospital and the taxpayer. This new provision will guarantee that hospitals receive payment and that patients will receive the treatment they deserve.

Many would agree that the bill presents a marked improvement for South Florida’s overcrowded and understaffed health care system. It will transform the system and would be more fair and just to all of its citizens. The verdict is still out as to how the bill could re-shape the future of health care in the region, but for now, it is the best alternative the nation has seen in generations.

Daniel Medina is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. He may be contacted at dmedina@themiamihurricane.com.

April 7, 2010

Reporters

Daniel Medina

Contributing Columnist


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Saving lives and solving problems”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

View photos from the Syracuse at Miami game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami G ...

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G6: Time again for the latest installment of the Canesfan Satisfaction ...

Syracuse student writer Matthew Gutierrez of The Daily Orange asked me to answer some of his questio ...

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Syracuse visits Miami on Saturday, October 21st at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.