Affordable Care Act, What Was the Problem?

Tobias J Song 


As an immigrant who came all the way to the United States from the country that actually had national health care, I know what is the real governmental running health care system. It is actually very tempting and good to have if you are in the poor or middle-class category. You are exempted from paying a lot of national health care fees, but you get a lot of benefits. My family was considered a part of the middle class in South Korea, and I have taken advantage of the national health care system a lot. I never paid over $20 for meeting a primary care doctor. Because of the experience, when I first came to the United States, it was a bit difficult to adjust to the U.S. healthcare system. It was too expensive without the insurance, and at that time I was just an international student, and the insurance was horrid. Thank God I have the military insurance right now.

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Do not get me wrong; I am not a fan of the South Korea’s medical insurance policy anymore because now I know it’s policy is based on populism and socialism. Deep inside of the health care system, there is a secret of how they are sustaining their so-called fantastic health care system in perspective of lefties. The answer is the successful enthrallment of the medical professions by the government. Americans would be surprised when they know about the salaries of doctors in South Korea. According to the Korean Medical Doctors News, the professor level physicians who are working in Seoul National University Hospital (the leading hospital in the nation), earn around $150,000 a year, and the primary care doctors make around $90,000 in the national average. Yes, $90,000, and you should have six years medical education, required military service (if you are a male), and specialty training through internship and residency to have that salaries. That is like a Physician Assistants’ wage in the United States. Also, higher class people pay too much for the national health care fee although they do not actually get benefited from the national health care. As a result, we may conclude that the sources of the South Korean national healthcare have been supported from the sacrifice of rich people and medical professions. In the capitalist system, it is not logical to levy heavy duties only because you are rich.

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The reason why I am citing the Korean national health care system by using two paragraphs is that Affordable Care Acts’ philosophies are seemingly based on that. The Obama administration never mentioned that they referred to the Korean national health care system, but the hearts of the policies are very similar; health care for everyone. However, what the Obama administration have miscalculated was the fact that they could not enslave the medical professions like South Korea. In addition to that, they chose to use the existing private insurance companies to execute the Affordable Care Acts and allowed the companies to have the federal subsidiaries when the companies have the people who could not afford the medical insurance before. And, the policy started collapsing. The number of Americans who are protected by Obama Care has increased, but healthcare professions did not decrease their fees. Therefore, the quantities of the subsidiaries that the government gives to the insurance companies have increased drastically, and the payment that rich, middle class or the companies had to pay more taxes eventually. This made people over the middle-class unhappy.

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American private healthcare insurance systems have been established in the philosophy of healthcare for the people who work. I admit the fact that some people such as the disabled, or those who are penniless who can just live paycheck by paycheck cannot be covered efficiently in this philosophy. However, that is the reason why Americans agreed to have the Medicaid in 1965 to support the minorities. Aside from those special cases, people who were born here should work to make themselves prosperous, to be the decent entities of the society. That is the strong base of the American society. Also, the philosophy; health care for the working people would stimulate the people to work and stay in the job because that is one of the ways to have the healthcare for their lives.

The approach of President Obama to the healthcare reformation was not that bad in my perspective, but he was too hurried to establish the policies. He failed to have an agreement with the medical professions although they were the actual executors of the medical field, and he neglected to control the insurance companies. Also, he ignored the traditional American philosophy over the healthcare which occurred some repulsions from some Americans. However, he indeed refreshed the room to think about the healthcare system in the United States. I do think some types of reformation would be needed for the severe surgeries or oncological treatments which actually make the middle-class Americans get bankrupted.

However, it should not be conducted like the Obama Care. It was like “mixing things together and apply it to the United States! It would work!” Nope. We should be very careful and meticulous on this issue. If Americans want to have the populism based healthcare system, it would be better to have the new federal agency which solely manages the national healthcare system and keep the private insurance companies private. Therefore, the Americans still have the options for the better quality healthcare if they want. However, for this, healthcare professions’ sacrifices should be followed too, which I highly doubt to happen in real life in the United States. If Americans want to have healthcare insurance solely based on the individuals’ needs, it would be better to go back to the pre-Obama Care generation.

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Healthcare reformation is complex, and many people’s interests are connected with this policy. Although, the government should be extremely careful when they try to reform it. I could not make a great answer for the American healthcare insurance system with my limited capabilities. However, I could at least point out what went erroneously in Obama Care. We humans improve through making a mistake, and Trump administration and Republicans ruling Congress should not make the same mistakes like Obama did.

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