DR. BOYCE: Why Black People Should Be Happy About Health Care

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Most young people and college students have yawned their way through the less than inspiring battle in Washington over health care.   Why do you care about what happens if you get sick when you’re never going to get sick anyway?  Young people are healthier than old, and most of them spend more time thinking about the next party than worrying about choosing a doctor.  But then again, I can’t over-generalize.  Perhaps I am speaking to my own ineptitudes as a young man.

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I get it.  This is not the Obama that you voted for, nor the one that made you cry at his inauguration.  You expected the super hero to leap tall politicians in a single bound and make Washington into a place you can appreciate and respect.  Sorry, but that last part just ain’t gonna happen.   Unfortunately, in spite of all the hoopla and excitement, Barack Obama is just another boring politician.  But as Obama is showing us, the seemingly dull, detail-oriented pragmatic approach to solving problems can sometimes yield results.

RELATED: HOUSE PASSES HISTORIC HEALTH CARE REFORM, 219-212

Good for you Barack, I am proud of you.  That does not, however, mean that I am drinking the kool-aid, since you and I both know that the black community is in dire need of targeted economic policy.  Obama has been given a huge pass on black America in order to be an effective president, requiring the community to carefully reposition it’s challenge to the very systems that keep us oppressed.  But I digress.

The reasons we should be happy about health care reform passing through the House of Representatives is because this Congress has had the courage to implement policy that will keep you from going bankrupt due to an illness.  Many hard-working, financially responsible Americans find themselves facing economic devastation because their medical insurance was capped, causing them to have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars out of their own pockets.

This law also keeps you from being denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition.  If you are sick and insurers know you’ve been sick in the past, they can deny you coverage due to your being a health risk.  Not anymore.

RELATED: House Passed Health Care Reform – What Happens Now?

There are also subsidies to help you afford health insurance if you can’t afford it.  You can stay on your parent’s insurance until you are 27 years old, there are limits to your out of pocket expenses, and even your grandma is going to get a little help with her Medicare costs.  Everyone benefits on some level from health care reform, so the world might be a better place since it has passed.

This bill is not perfect by any stretch, but it’s a better system than the one we’ve had before.  Also, the passage of this bill proves that President Obama is not a wimp.  When times got tough, he could have let the effort go, but instead, he pushed it through in spite of the opposition.  By getting the votes to pass this bill, Obama might have been able to save the next two years of his presidency.  In spite of what you might think about his health care plan, those who supported him should be proud of this achievement.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book, “Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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