Will Shadow Still Loom Over Affordable Care Act on Groundhog Day?
I ‘m feeling a bit like Bill Murray in the movie classic “Groundhog Day” as I brace myself for another round of debate on health reform. (It’s like déjà vu all over again!) As the real Groundhog Day approaches, Congress will likely be in the midst of discussing health reform as they were the last Groundhog Day and the one before that. In fact, this is a topic Congress has been trying to grapple with for about 60 Groundhog Days.
Personally, I wouldn’t blame Punxsutawney Phil if he decides to stay in his warm cozy hole this year. But that’s not an option for the rest of us. We need to climb back out of our comfort zones where the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and the promise is beginning to become a reality for many people. We have to face the cold, harsh reality that there is a vocal group of elected leaders determined to bring the law down no matter what it means for America’s families or our economy.
We need to take a break from our other critical work to continue to educate our elected leaders about the important early gains provided by the Affordable Care Act:
* Children can’t be denied insurance coverage because of a preexisting condition like asthma or cancer.
* Parents can keep college-age children on their parents' policies until they turn 26.
* Coverage can no longer be canceled when someone in the family gets sick.
* A serious illness like leukemia or ALS won’t bury families in debt because of lifetime limits on payments for care.
* You can’t be charged extra for seeking urgent care at an emergency room that is not in the insurance company's provider network.
* Insurance companies have to spend more of your premiums on care, rather than advertising or CEO salaries.
* Prescription drugs are more affordable for seniors on Medicare.
* Seniors receive free screenings for cancer and other diseases.
Our leaders in Congress should not abandon these critical protections for families in exchange for an empty promise to consider these issues later. America’s children and families have waited too long for Congress to turn the clock back now.