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Obamacare: How Governor Deal robbed us of our freedom to choose

In a few fleeting months, it will be mandatory that you have health insurance. Among other options, you are given the choice of being covered by Obamacare. While this should be your decision to make, you won’t be making it alone. For most of you, the state of Georgia has already made that choice.

With the goal of increasing the number of Americans with health insurance, on Jan. 1, 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better known as Obamacare—states that health insurance will be mandatory for every citizen (with exception to few).

This “individual mandate” clause also states that those who do not have Obamacare or any other type of health insurance will be penalized with a monetary fee—a fee that will increase each month that you don’t have health insurance.

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The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that the average income for college students is $14,400. Obamacare requires that Medicaid provide coverage for people who make less than $15,856 a year. It’s up to the state, however, to allow Medicaid’s coverage—and Georgia is refusing to allow it.

Along with several other southern states, Georgia remains unmoved in their decision to prohibit the expansion of Medicaid. When asked if he would be wiling to expand Georgia’s Medicaid, our governor, Nathan Deal replied, “No, I don’t have any intentions of expanding Medicaid.”

During this interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Deal went on to say that he felt the federal government would break its promise of 100 percent coverage for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.

He refuses to assist thousands of low-income people in his home state because of his trust issues with our government. Sure, you can’t expect everyone to keep a promise and you’d be less likely to bet on the promises of someone whose views contradict yours, but a promise should be considered if it’s fruition could ultimately mean saving the lives of thousands.

His decision to rob low-income students of their choice is a echoed in the claim that the real threat to young adults’ health coverage is the decision by some states to not expand their Medicaid programs.

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So, while some of us will be covered by employer insurance, military insurance, or our parent’s insurance—courtesy of Obamacare which allows those under 26 to do so—the rest of us will be left browsing high premiums or building up our penalty fee tab and playing Russian roulette in the absence of health insurance.

As residents of Georgia, we shouldn’t stand by and let thousands of low-income people, most of whom are students, face penalties because our state insists on keeping their arms firmly folded in the face of opportunity.

Too often, politically saturated subjects, including Obamacare, are abandoned by young adults and placed in the care of the “older, wiser and seasoned.”

This centerpiece of political conversational spreads has become the ragdoll of political playgrounds. Like a perplexing painting that hangs in the presence of quarreling Dems and Reps, each clause of the 13,000 page document has been dismembered and exploited by congressmen, hoping to use its promise and premise for their respective agendas.

This careless act becomes problematic when your life is the hanging spectacle of which they quarrel about. There are several things concerning our lives that politicians have carelessly handled for various and often self-justified reasons, but your physical and financial well-being should never be one of them.

We’ve got to push for change and, at minimum, push for compromise. We’ve got to care enough to take issues like this out of the grip of the “older, wiser and seasoned” and shape our own futures.