Quality, affordable healthcare coverage is incredibly important to families in the U.S.
MomsRising has recieved thousands of messages from our volunteers with stories about why the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare matter for the health of their families. This #ProtectOurCare blog series will highlight many of the stories we've received.
From Mark in Maryland:
My son, Timmy, is six years old and was born with Opitz GBBB Syndrome. He is an energetic, creative, intelligent, extroverted little boy with blond curls, big brown eyes, and a smile that never fails to get at least 100 likes on the pictures I post on my facebook timeline. He also breathes through a trach and is primarily fed through a G-tube. We are strongly opposed to the repeal of the ACA because of its lifetime limits ban, protection for people with pre-existing conditions, the ability to keep children on their parents insurance till they are 26 years old, and because of the individual mandate that ensured we don’t get charged more than medically basic people. We are also opposed to the Medicaid cuts specifically the per-capita caps that the GOP is proposing with the new healthcare law.
Lifetime limits: On September 23rd, 2010 the ACA was put into effect. Just 6 days later, Timmy was born. Before the ACA, our policy had a lifetime limit of 1 million dollars. Without the ACA, Timmy’s medical expenses would have used up that 1 million dollars over his first 3 months of life. He was in three different NICUs for his first 6 months during which he utilized over 2 million dollars in medical expenses. This is why the lifetime limits ban is so important to us and so many families of medically complex children. Vox did an article featuring Timmy and our family to highlight the need for the lifetime limit ban: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/15/14563182/obamacare-lifetime-limits-ban. Please watch and/or read this story to understand our lives and our point of view.
Pre-existing conditions: Timmy is a child with at least 30 pre-existing conditions spanning several medical disciplines: pulmonary, cardiac, and liver to name a few. If the protection for people ewith pre-existing conditions goes into effect, Timmy could be uninsurable for the rest of his life.
High-risk pools: We do not have cheap insurance as it is. Our deductible is $1000, our monthly premium (including Pharmacy, medical, and dental) is $1862.96. Per year that equals $22,355.52. We have to pay specialist visit copays out of pocket ($30/visit; Timmy sees 13 specialists in 3 different states). We have this insurance through my wife’s employer because it covers so much. If we were to be put into a high-risk pool with only other medically complex people, our insurance costs would likely skyrocket. This, in my view, would be health care based on discrimination. The GOP wants to get rid of the individual mandate so that typically medical people don’t have to pay a fine for not having insurance. Instead they want to allow people who lapse in coverage to reenroll with higher premiums for a period of time. I believe this will discourage people from reenrolling and will cause the pool of people ensured to be mainly those who are medically complex and who have higher insurance costs.
Medicaid per-capita caps: Finally, while Timmy does not utilize Medicaid, (he’s been on the waiting list for 6 years) slashing Medicaid will likely cause our friends with medically complex children to lose vital Medicaid services. If per capita caps are put in place and EPSDT is eliminated, our friends’ children will likely lose eligibility for Medicaid; lose critical services, such as losing home nursing care and therapies; and caps will ultimately force these children to live in an institution or hospital at three times the cost to the government.
Thank you so much for your time and attention to these important issues.
You can read more stories from parent across the country here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.momsrising.org/images/Lifesaver_Book_-_Final...
And if you have a story of your own you'd like to share, you can submit it here: http://action.momsrising.org/survey/healthcare-stories/