The Affordable Care Act was not passed easily. It was a hellish process of misinformation, lobbying from all sides, and compromises that looked more like beleaguered acquiescence. It was a big deal of a bill that did not emerge unscathed, but emerged nonetheless. It’s already begun to deliver, with more on its way, assuming it’s given the chance. Despite the myriad benefits now available for all, not everyone is a fan, and a lot of people want it repealed. As someone who is more than grateful for this act, I would like to make sure that this bill survives. I hope others will join me in making sure that the ACA does not see an untimely demise. Think about it, do we really want to turn back now? Before the bill has even been fully realized? Back to insurmountable medical debt and women being treated as a pre-existing condition? I don’t. We need to make sure this law stays. We need to do our part. We need to vote for legislators who will ensure it does not get repealed. It’s the least we can do to ensure that millions of our fellow Americans stay covered.
In case you need a reminder, here are some of the benefits that women and their families can now access:
- Young adults are allowed to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26.
- Insurance companies are prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays.
- Insurance companies can not deny coverage to children under the age of 19 due to a pre-existing condition.
- More small businesses are offering health insurance to their employees, thanks to a new tax credit.
- No more gender discrimination. Insurance plans receiving federal funds will not be able to charge women more for services disproportionately used by women.
- The ACA guarantees access to preventive services like mammograms and cervical cancer screening.
- The ACA assures that pregnant and parenting women on Medicaid get access to needed services including education about post-partum depression, anti-smoking programs and violence prevention.
- Older women will save thousands of dollars as the reform closes the prescription drug gap (aka the “donut hole”).
- Family caregivers now have more support. The ACA establishes the Geriatric Education Centers to support training in geriatrics, chronic care management, as well as mental health and dementia best care practices – all at little to no cost.
Want more? Check out www.healthcare.gov for the scoop on just when the remaining provisions go into effect (some won’t do so until 2014), and well as a wealth of information on a lot of other subjects.
Many thanks to the National Partnership for Women and Families for much of the information cited here.