Romancing the Affordable Care Act
When you have kids, anniversaries can get short shrift. Suddenly, a quick pizza lunch can suffice for a romantic date. But anniversaries are important not just to mark what we have achieved, but also to renew our commitment to going forward.
This March 23rd is the Anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and boy, is this legislation suffering from major commitment issues from its opponents!
Corporate lobbyists and lawyers, and even some state and federal legislators, are doing everything they can to stop health care reform before it even gets a chance to go into full effect.
You can help turn this around. Legislators and the public need to hear what's at stake for America's families if we don't keep moving forward to fix our broken health care system! Take a moment now to share your health care experiences. Can you now sleep better at night knowing that your child won't be excluded due to pre-existing conditions; has your young adult child been able to remain on your family coverage; or, do you work for or own a small business that has been able to take advantage of health insurance tax credits? Are you anxiously awaiting 2014 when adults can no longer be excluded from coverage because of pre-existing conditions?
From the stories we've received thus far from every state in the nation, we know that the Affordable Care Act is already making a critical difference in the lives of families, but we also know that many other families are desperately hanging on till 2014 when all the provisions of health care reform will go into effect.
Sharing your experiences will make a difference in keeping health care moving forward. Too many elected leaders are stuck inside Washington D.C. and forget about what's happening with real people. Sharing your experiences brings a needed dose of reality to our nation's capitol and helps leaders remember that they must answer to their constituents.
With that in mind, we're bringing your stories to legislators and the public. Already, MomsRising members have shared their stories with President Obama, the Secretary of Health and Human Services Sebelius, the First Lady, leaders of Congress, and been featured on news reports by ABC World News Tonight, NPR, CNN, the PBS Newshour, and in many local papers where members have submitted their stories as letters to the editor. Our stories are powerful!
Take, for example, this story from Mari, a MomsRising member from Nevada, which powerfully demonstrates why moving forward with health care reform is critical:
After my daughter went into remission for cancer, her insurance company was trying to drop her. They said they would only continue coverage if she were in school full-time. It was impossible for her to be in school full-time when she was still suffering the effects of chemo. Now that the reform is in place, we no longer have to battle the insurance company to keep her on the rolls.
I, myself, have a pre-existing condition for which I could not be covered. Once the expanded Medicaid goes into effect in 2014, I will have affordable coverage. It gives me peace of mind knowing I will not have to scramble to pay my costs forever. I just have to ride it out a little longer. I hope this isn't taken away from me. It's the 1st grain of hope I've had in awhile that I will not die an early death from lack of treatment.
While key provisions of health care reform have already been implemented that vastly improve consumer protections, like ending pre-existing conditions for kids and making it illegal to drop people from coverage when they get sick, many key provisions of healthcare like providing subsidies for low and middle income families to buy health care coverage, expanding the numbers of people eligible for Medicaid, and ending pre-existing condition exclusions for adults have not gone into effect yet.
We need to make sure that state and federal legislators and the public know what is at stake for our families. A recent study shows that the best way to build public support for health care reform is to share a story of a real person who has been helped by the Affordable Care Act with a fact or two about health care reform.
The more experiences we put on the map, the more effective we'll all be. Can you share yours? Even if you experience isn't dramatic, it will be particularly powerful for others in your community.
Here are some questions to help you get started:
- Did you recently obtain coverage for a child with a pre-existing condition?
- Are you a small business owner who will benefit from the new health insurance tax credits?
- Are you a senior who received a $250 rebate check to make it easier to purchase prescription drugs?
- Will your older child now be able to stay on your health insurance plan?
- Have you ever had your care rescinded after you got sick--and now you can sleep better at night knowing this won't be allowed to happen again?
- Are you happy that your plan now can not have a lifetime limit or annual limit on the care it will provide?
- Are you or someone you know enrolled in the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan?
If you have had any of these experiences, or any others that show how health reform has helped your family, or will soon help your family, please share them here: http://www.momsrising.org/submit/mrstory/healthcare
And please forward this email on to friends and family who may also may be willing to share their experiences.
We'll continue to make sure your stories are heard and that we build support for moving forward on America's health care!
Thanks so much for your support of America's families!
P.S. Check out this book of highlights of member stories we've already compiled! We'll keep updating our collection of stories as new ones come in.
 Herndon Alliance