By Karen Higgins, registered nurse and co-president of National Nurses United - As the Supreme Court justices pass judgment on the law even the President now calls Obamacare, the sad fact is that that health care will remain beyond the reach of millions of Americans no matter how the court rules.
In contrast, nearly half the justices who will pass judgment on the law are beyond the age where they have to worry about their access to care.Four of the nine judges already qualify for guaranteed healthcare, two more will within three years when they reach age 65.
That guarantee could be achieved by extending Medicare to everyone, without raising constitutional questions posed by the individual mandate that forces everyone without coverage to buy private, commercial health insurance.
The stark reality is far different for people under 65 today. Whether the Court throws out or upholds Obamacare, they will still not have universal coverage, medical bills will still push too many Americans into bankruptcy or prompt them to self-ration care, and insurance companies will still have a choke hold on their health.
Let’s credit the law with some positive elements, such as ending lifetime coverage caps and banning exclusion of patients with pre-existing conditions, and permitting young adults up to age 26 remain on their parents’ health plan.
But the law falls fall short of what is needed to bring our national healthcare nightmare to a close.
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