Friday, March 25, 2011

More Health Reform Victories

Today's the last day of the week in which we have been celebrating the successes of health reform. So here are another couple of stories:

Doris called from Missouri. She has a fourteen year old son with ulcerative colitis and she could not find him insurance anywhere due to his pre-existing condition.

Lucky for Doris, she called me in August 2010. On September 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections would kick in, I explained. That meant that she would be able to find her son insurance because insurers no longer could refuse to cover children under age 19 with pre-existing conditions.

Due to the Affordable Care Act, Doris’s son is insured.


Miriam called from West Virginia. She’s a college student with Crohn’s disease. She’s doing really well on Remicade treatments, but she lost her insurance and does not know what to do.

We went at this from many directions. With a pre-existing condition, she could get into the new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, but that is a little too expensive for her. Still, there was nothing else.

Until I asked: Do your parents work? Do they have insurance?

Miriam had aged out of her parent’s policy a couple of years earlier. However, she is not yet age 26.

And there was the answer. Under the Affordable Care Act, she had to be offered an opportunity to go back on her parent’s policy. Her parent contacted their employer’s human resources department and Miriam was re-enrolled in her parent’s policy as a dependent for even less money per month than the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan would have cost.

Miriam will now have insurance coverage until she reaches age 26, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

So you can oppose health reform if you want, but you can't deny that it's providing critical assistance to your fellow Americans. At the very least, before anybody thinks about repealing or defunding it, how about we figure out how to preserve the parts of it that are really good, that are helping people receive the care they so desperately need. Jennifer

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