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Health care reform will affect elderly

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William K. Hayward
June 11, 2010

This past year, health care reform took many twists and turns, some good, some not so good. A delicate but vital component is care for the elderly, currently handled by Medicare. I went to Washington to learn and form an opinion about this. Iíve learned much, but Iím still undecided about whether this reform bill is good.


Some reforms did wonders for our health care system. Prescriptions will now be covered better than before. Insurance companies wonít be allowed to avoid covering people because of pre-existing conditions, and insurance companies wonít be allowed to drop a personís coverage because of illness. This means people will be covered for most of their medical problems.


However, the bill has many flaws. It will require every American to buy health care. This will inevitably lead to insurance companies raising prices to make as much money as possible. People wonít be able to afford insurance, but they will still be required to have it. This could bankrupt thousands of people and small businesses and give insurance companies even more money than before.


While many programs are being added on to, certain programs are being ignored or facing funding cuts. One example is long-term care. Living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility isnít something that people want to think about, but it most likely will happen to you or a loved one at some point in your life. Despite its importance, itís surprising that funding for long-term care would be cut by billions of dollars.


Thereís no doubt that our health care system needed repairs, but did we do the right thing? I was hoping to get an answer, but I still have no clue if Washington fixed the problem or made it worse.


William K. Hayward wrote this as part of Washington Seminar at Janesville Parker High School.

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