What I told my student about learning history: and the Affordable Care Act

One of my junior high students was complaining about learning history. Of course, I explained that “those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it”. We discussed at length some of the societal trends and events that repeat throughout history, as we do not necessarily learn the lessons. I taught him how to make history come alive, how to makes sense of the names, events, and data.

We discussed the importance of really learning about current events, and not just taking the media’s word for it. You see, each writer and media outlet has a voice and vision. The best of them do try to remove bias. However, a certain level of bias is inevitable, as we each do see the world and events through our own filters. These filters are the result of our own experiences and interpretations of the world around us. None of us is perfect.

A few days ago I started to observe the interchange of commentaries and ideas revolving around healthcare and the healthcare act in the U.S. I had read quite a bit about the controversy and about the government shutdown. I had read select excerpts of the Affordable Care Act (which some call Obama Care). However, these excerpts were used to argue specific points.

It hit me yesterday that I was avoiding some work on the issue. Have I read the actual 906 page act? Of course I haven’t. Was I going to allow myself to fall short of the standard that I set for my students. No! I have started to read it. I am putting a link for it here. https://www.healthcare.gov/where-can-i-read-the-affordable-care-act/ This link will get you to 3 links. The links give you 3 PDFs. One is for the non-certified version of the law. The second is for the certified version of the law.  The 3rd is for the certified version of the Reconciliation Act.

I have started to read the certified version of the Affordable Care Act. I am on page 46. It is detailed, dry, and has many references to other laws, agencies, and portions thereof. Thus, it is a bit slow going ~ especially since I do not have knowledge of those references. I will have to find them as well.

I will keep you posted ~ I want to know what the law says. I have had my fill of what the politicians, lobbyists, and media types SAY it says.

Just wanted you to know that I am trying to be the most authentic me that I can be.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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10 Responses to What I told my student about learning history: and the Affordable Care Act

  1. Sometimes I think they make the law so huge and hard to read because they don’t want us to read them. They’d rather we rely on the media for information instead of the primary source document. Kudos to you for digging a little deeper. 🙂

  2. The few sources I trust all say the same thing. Lots of others say other things. Since I know that I know that I do not want it, I also know I do not want to read it. If I found anything I thought was good in it, I would immediately suspect I lacked understanding, somehow.
    So, in a way, I feel I already know what it says.
    Isn’t that pitiful! 😐

    • Kate Kresse says:

      well i look at it this way. if indeed there are some things in it that i agree with, and life being what it is–that is highly likely, I guess there will be room for compromise and more. There are people who need help—and both the government and private charities can help them. Who runs it, who administers it, who decides, etc—that still needs to be worked on. I plan to read it as carefully and thoroughly as I can ~ that way I can arm myself with knowledge.

      You know, my friend, that you have significant concerns about the potential for the government to abuse their power and extend their reach. Given the track record that government has, that is a legitimate concern. But since the law was passed, I really feel I MUST know what this one says.

  3. auntyuta says:

    Katherine Trauger says that she knows that she does not want it. I wonder why Katherine thinks that there cannot be anything good in it, I am very curious, Kate, what you have to say after you studied it a bit more.
    I love the way you instruct your students about history!
    I wished history was taught like this everywhere.:-)

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Uta~ I think what she is saying is that if some things in the bill looked like a good thing, she would suspect that she misunderstood it. The reason that she, and many others feel that way is that the lawmakers are known for creating laws that are confusing. They can appear to say one thing but mean another. Part of that is because many of the lawmakers are lawyers, too. As a result, they write laws that try to prevent subsequent lawsuits. This results in confusing legalese. You see the same things sometimes when educators create policy, curriculum, and achievement tests. Each group has their own vernacular (you and i might call it BS or crap)—and because various groups tend to think alike, group think takes over.So yes, one could be highly suspicious if a law seems particularly innocuous. The reason is that sometimes lawmakers mislead. Sometimes they mislead in the language of the law. It seems that the law will be enforced one way, but in reality the enforcement can be intrusive or even abusive. So it is well-formed wisdom that raises hackles and questions.
      The hesitancy she has about reading the law is a hesitancy that I have felt when it comes to reading the works of philosophers who are also atheists or humanists. I get it.

  4. auntyuta says:

    I must tell you, Kate, reading law would definitely not be my cup of tea. But I think it’s marvellous that people like you take the time going through all the confusing legalese, trying to make some sense of it. I wonder how the average citizen .is supposed to work out whether the enforcement of a certain law is going to be intrusive or abusive? Somehow the only way seems to be to have leaders who are trustworthy so that you are inclined to believe what they tell you. But I understand that there are probably situations where they are getting pressured not to make known the whole truth.
    As some commentators are pointing out, the power is where the most money is!!
    We have a levy here in Australia for Medicare. This government insurance does not exist to make a profit. The payments patients can get under Medicare are restricted. For specialist treatment people usually have to contribute some of their own money. Our private health funds are all in the business to make a profit. I am of the opinion that people who are not very well off should not join them. I rather pay a bit extra out of my own pocket than keep paying into a private health fund!!

    • Kate Kresse says:

      The way this new health care bill stands is this. Everyone is REQUIRED to purchase the medical insurance. Now, different states have what they call exchanges and subsidies. That means that below a certain income level, they will subsidize part of the cost of the insurance premiums. However, the insurance only coveers part of the medical expenses. There are very large amounts of $ that many folks will have to pay before the insurance covers part of the expense. The economy has been pretty bad here for a number of years, and people are worried that the potential increase in medical expenses could bankrupt them.That is one of the big concerns.

      • auntyuta says:

        I think the potential increase in medical expenses could bankrupt the government too. So they have to try to keep costs low, but still provide some level of healthcare for everybody, not just for the well off. People should not be forced to join health funds they cannot afford. This is my opinion. The government funded insurance, in Australia Medicare, is funded by taxes.

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