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8th Day Statement on the Affordable Care Act
We begin this statement by saying that our vision is that all people would have access to health care. Health care is a necessity, not a privilege.
While universal health care coverage is not yet a reality, we realize that over 48 million Americans according to the 2011 U.S. Census are uninsured. We cannot allow this to continue. Those who are uninsured are most often people who are poor, working people with low-paying jobs, or the unemployed. If health care is needed, they must go to emergency rooms, which is very expensive. The cost is passed on in the form of increased premiums to all who do have health insurance.
8th Day Center is concerned that the widespread media coverage is about the website glitches and the dropping of present health care plans which do not fit the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
What is not being covered in the media are
· people who find out that although their present plan was dropped they are able to find better coverage for lower costs if you consider out of pocket expenses;
· millions of Americans who will be able to have a better quality of life as their health care needs are met;
· millions of Americans who will be able to have all of their needs covered including pre-existing conditions;
· millions of Americans who will not lose their coverage if they are ill or have long-term care needs.
In addition, while the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, it provides the following improvements to the current system as of January 2014.
· Insurers must provide coverage regardless of health status (and must end common abusive practices)
· Insurance must be affordable
· No more benefit caps
· Tax-credits and cost sharing reductions for plans purchased
· Premiums won’t be based on health history, gender, etc.
o Ambulance rides
o ER visits
o Out-of-state ER care
o Lab services
o Maternity and newborn care
o Mental health and substance abuse care, including behavioral health
o Pediatric coverage includes oral and vision care
o Prescription drugs
o Preventive and wellness care, including vaccinations and screenings.
o Chronic diseases
· Medicaid will cover those below 138% of poverty line depending on the state’s participation.
· The Government will help pay copays for those under 250% of the federal poverty line for those in the Silver Plan
· There is an out-of-pocket limit
Again, we look forward to the day when all people have access to health care. In the meantime we encourage those states, who are balking, to accept expanded Medicaid. We also ask that undocumented adults be included.
Information was provided by:
Kaiser Health News www.kaiserhealthnews.org
Campaign for Better Health Care www.cbhconline.org
Physicians for a National Health Plan www.pnhp.org offers an alternative opinion.