The ACA (Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare) means the following:
- Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive.
- They can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.
- They can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick.
- They can no longer jack up your premiums without reason.
- They have to provide free preventive care like check-ups and mammograms
- Young adults under the age of 26 can stay on their parent’s health care plans
- Senior citizens save money on prescription drugs
Starting in 2014:
- Insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against anyone with a preexisting health condition
- They won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a woman.
- They won’t be able to bill you into bankruptcy.
When Mitt Romney’s health insurance reform passed in Massachusetts, I was disgusted to discover that it included an individual mandate — in other words, that everyone in the state HAD to buy health insurance. At the time, I was self-employed and was barely able to pay my bills. Health insurance, especially in the days before the exchanges, was completely out of the question.
The health insurance mandate was one of the big reasons why I decided to take a full-time job with a larger company, but it wasn’t the only reason. The other big reason had to do with access to health care. During my years of self-employment, I paid for all of my health care out of pocket: visits to the doctor, prescription medication, diagnostic tests, and the rest. I’ve been living with a chronic illness since my late teens. And there were some things I just couldn’t afford, things that would have made it possible to manage my illness much more effectively. Toward the end of my years living uninsured, I could see myself getting sicker and sicker. I knew that I needed to have better access to health care; if I didn’t, I would become so sick that I wouldn’t be able to work at all.
What I find most disgusting about the national debate on health care is that the individual mandate — the very thing that Republicans and Tea Partiers wail and gnash their teeth about, the thing they decry as socialist government control — was their idea in the first place.
But what I find just as disgusting — flabbergasting, even — is the Left’s inability to effectively mobilize and stay on message around this issue. So that many of the people who most desperately need better health care coverage, the people who benefit most from the passage of the ACA, are the same people wailing and gnashing their teeth about it. Ah, well. Perhaps they’ll be happier in Canada.