Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Importance of The Affordable Care Act: A Good Reason to Vote for Clinton

People complain a great deal about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, particularly in states like Texas which have not chosen to expand Medicaid as the Act was designed to do.  States who have chosen not to expand Medicaid really have put the working poor and the working class in a bind, but that has to do with the decisions made by those states, not the Act.  Also, insurance companies, in their ever-growing greed for more profit, continue to raise premiums but that also is not about the Act, it is about the insurance companies and the fact that Republicans would not allow the Act to include a public option (just like they would not allow the single-payer healthcare plan that Hillary Clinton fought for during Bill Clinton's presidency pass) and would not allow it the teeth to really prevent insurance companies from exercising that greed.  As for the middle class and wealthy families who complain, health insurance was always expensive and its cost always raised in a terrifying way every year - some people are just young and new to having to pay so they blame the Affordable Care Act for what is really our long national nightmare of a for-profit healthcare system.

So, there are problems with the Affordable Care Act - it was not allowed by a Republican Congress or by many Republican-controlled states to go nearly as far as it needed to in making healthcare affordable for Americans.  The President wants to expand it.  Hillary Clinton wants to expand it.  Bernie Sanders wants to expand it.  Basically, the Democrats want healthcare to be accessible and affordable for all Americans and the Democrats are working on getting it there as fast as the need to compromise with Republicans will allow.

Still - over 20 million people who were uninsured in the United States have been able to get health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.  That's a lot of people.  It's progress.

And here's the thing:  I want to tell you about my own fears.

I have a daughter.  She is in college.  She is brilliant and kind.  She worked hard in school and earned enough in scholarships to cover her college education.  She wants to be a doctor and she studies and works really hard.  She is a junior in college and she just turned 21.

She's sick.  

She has a chronic, progressive disease that requires serious medication to control, medication that can have serious side affects over time. She may eventually need surgeries.  A wheelchair.  Other assistive devices.  We hope not, but maybe.  Almost certainly without the medicines, which are very expensive. 

Because of the Affordable Care Act, her pre-exisiting condition does not prevent her from having health insurance and getting life-saving medication.  

Because of the Affordable Care Act, she can be on our health insurance and go to college and keep working hard.  

Because of the Affordable Care Act, her health insurance cannot say that she has reached her "lifetime limit" and that they are not going to cover her medicine anymore.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, she can keep working hard to get her education and then get a career and be a productive, independent member of society.  She is on track to be someone whose name you are going to know if you do not already.  

You are all going to know her name.

But that is what Donald Trump and the Republicans want to kill: my hardworking, kind and brilliant daughter.  They want to repeal the Act so that health insurance companies can deny her coverage and cut off her coverage and let her die.

You may see third party voting as some sort of "it has to get worse before it gets better thing" but having Trump in the presidency with a Republican Congress could repeal what many Americans like my daughter have to have in order to keep surviving.    

That's what the Affordable Care Act is really about:  survival.  And that's why I voted for Hillary Clinton.  That's why I am asking you to vote for Hillary Clinton and for Democrats in Congress.


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