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What is Health Care?

How does health care work?

If you notice a yellow highlight on the page, hover over it for the definition!

How often do you go to the doctor? Health care is important in everybody’s life – your family uses it when they get sick, when they need medicine, when they visit the doctor, or when they stay in hospital.

But who pays for all this? Health care can get expensive, and most people cannot afford to spend all that money at once.

Private Health Care

In America, most people used to buy health insurance. This means, they would pay a company every month, and when they got sick, they could ask the company to pay for the medical help they needed.

Some people supported this system, because it made companies compete against each other to give the best prices to their customers. Others think it is unfair because not everybody can afford insurance.

This system changed when President Obama was in power. He introduced the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” The plan was to make sure that all Americans could afford health care, but many people disagree on the law.  Obamacare helped people without much money to get health insurance, but it was very expensive for middle-class people.

Free Health Care

What is free health care? Where does the money come from to pay for medicine?

Some people who want to be the next president, such as Senators Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders, want free health care, also called Medicare-for-All. Is this a good idea? The money has to come from somewhere, which means people will have to pay for it in their taxes (money they give to the government). It would also mean people have less choice, since the government would control the system.

If Medicare-for-All works out then all Americans can get medical care no matter how much money they have. But some fear the system would create more problems than it solves.

Kelli Ballard

National Correspondent at and Kelli Ballard is an author, editor, and publisher. Her writing interests span many genres including a former crime/government reporter, fiction novelist, and playwright. Originally a Central California girl, Kelli now resides in the Seattle area.

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