If the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) gets repealed, it likely won’t be because folks understand what it does.
It will be because many people don’t realize that they are benefiting from Obamacare or even what it really does.
Obamacare Under Attack
The Affordable Care Act has been under attack almost from the day it was enacted.
Since the original Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, and through dozens of others, we have most recently had the:
- Better Care Reconciliation Act
- Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act
- Health Care Freedom Act (“Skinny” repeal)
They all failed.
The latest attempt to repeal Obamacare is the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Bill.
Will this bill pass?
As a pediatrician, I am fearful for my patients and the uncertain future they would face under Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy’s (R-La.) health care proposal, currently set for a vote next week in the U.S. Senate. As president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I must speak out against this dangerous, ill-conceived policy on behalf of our 66,000 pediatrician, pediatric surgical specialist and pediatric medical subspecialist members, and stop it from advancing…
The American Academy of Pediatrics urges the Senate to oppose the Graham-Cassidy proposal, and instead turn to bipartisan solutions that are crafted in the best interest of children and families, like the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, which both expire next week. Pediatricians will continue to focus on the children we care for as this process unfolds, and we will not stop speaking up on their behalf until we see legislation that puts them first.
Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics on the AAP Statement Opposing Graham-Cassidy Health Care Proposal
Like the other bills, the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Bill will fail if any of these organizations that have come out in opposition have anything to say and do about it:
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- American Nurses Association
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
- American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
- American Public Health Association
- National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
- First Focus Campaign for Children
- Children’s Defense Fund
- Children’s Dental Health Project
- Family Voices
- American Psychiatric Association
- National Council for Behavioral Health
- American Hospital Association
- ALS Association
- American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
- American Diabetes Association
- American Heart Association
- American Lung Association
- Arthritis Foundation
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Family Voices
- Lutheran Services in America
- March of Dimes
- National Health Council
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- National Organization for Rare Diseases
- Volunteers of America
How can they pass a health law that every major health organization opposes?
“This bill contains proposals we have seen in previous bills, and we already know they would be bad for people with CF – and some cases, go even further. Graham-Cassidy would allow states to get rid of certain pre-existing condition protections, open the door to annual and lifetime coverage caps and high risk pools, and make massive cuts to Medicaid.”
Cystic Fibosis Foundation
In addition to repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Graham-Cassidy:
- makes massive cuts to Medicaid
- turns Medicaid into a block grant and caps its funding
- ends Medicaid expansion
- eliminates ACA’s marketplace subsidies
Graham-Cassidy should not be allowed to pass.
Add your voice to the opposition if you agree. Contact your Representative and Senators to let them know that you oppose the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill.
Understanding the ACA
Most people understand that the ACA allowed many uninsured people to finally get insurance. Either with the help of tax credits, simply because the plans were available, or through the expansion of Medicaid, about 20 million have insurance because of the ACA.
What many people don’t realize is that they likely benefited from the ACA, even if they aren’t one of these 20 million people.
Some of the ACA benefits for everyone with any kind of insurance included:
- no refusal for coverage because you have a pre-existing condition – which could include things like asthma, ADHD, anxiety, and depression or a cancer that is in remission
- coverage for young adults so they could stay on their parent’s insurance plan until they are 26 years old, even if they are in school, working, or married
- the elimination of annual and lifetime limits or caps – which some kids with complex health problems could reach in a single year
- no co-pays for preventative care visits, from well-child visits and vaccines to mammograms and colonoscopies and well adult visits for men and women
- no co-pays for breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
- coverage for maternity services
- coverage for mental health and substance abuse services
- insurance plans can’t drop you if you get sick
Most people like those benefits.
Personally, I no longer see parents who worry about my diagnosing their child with asthma or anxiety because of how it “will look” on their insurance. And we don’t have to worry that a diagnosis of anxiety or depression won’t be covered because they have insurance that doesn’t include mental health benefits.
And, even though the Vaccines for Children program was available, it is nice knowing that insurance covers their vaccines that can protect them from life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases.
Misunderstanding the ACA
Not realizing all of these benefits is only one way that folks misunderstand the ACA.
Are premiums under Obamacare soaring?
Actually no. Insurance premiums have gone up at slower rates for all of us than they did before Obamacare took effect!
“We have a national law that will continue to work overall, but which has some problem spots. That frames the real choice here. It is not, as Trump, McConnell, and Ryan would cynically lead the American people to believe, between repealing the ACA or coping with impending disaster. Rather, it is between repealing the law and repairing it.”
Scot Lehigh on Hard truths about Obamacare
Do some people have fewer options as some major insurers drop out of the ACA Marketplaces? Sure. But that’s still better than the zero options they likely had before the ACA when they were uninsured.
What about the idea that Obamacare is failing overall? It’s not.
What to Know About Misunderstanding the ACA
Obamacare is not failing and has helped millions of people get insurance coverage. All of the plans to repeal and replace it have been huge steps backwards that have been opposed by every major health organization.
More Information About Misunderstanding the ACA
- AAP – The Affordable Care Act: What Your Family Needs to Know
- The Graham-Cassidy Bill: A Last-Ditch GOP Effort To Deprive Millions Of Health Care
- ACA Repeal: What’s at Stake for Women’s Health Coverage
- AMA Urges Senate To Oppose Graham-Cassidy Legislation
- March of Dimes, American Heart Association oppose new Senate repeal-and-replace bill
- Sixteen Patient and Provider Groups Oppose Graham/Cassidy Bill
- AHA opposes Graham-Cassidy proposal to repeal and replace parts of the ACA
- Sounding the Alarm: The New Senate Health Care Bill Could Cut $3.2 Trillion from Medicaid by 2036
- Spotlight on the Impact of the Graham/Cassidy/Heller/Johnson Bill on Non-Expansion Medicaid Spending in Ten States
- AARP – Graham Cassidy Letter to Senate
- Joint Recommendations of the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, and American Osteopathic Association on Priorities for Coverage, Benefits and Consumer Protections Changes
- Poll: Voters oppose straight Obamacare repeal
- Hard truths about Obamacare
- Cassidy-Graham’s Waiver Authority Would Gut Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions
- APHA strongly opposes latest effort to overturn Affordable Care Act
- Child Advocates Call on Governors to Oppose Medicaid Block Grants and Per Capita Caps
Last Updated on September 21, 2017 by Vincent Iannelli, MD
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