Millions of adults lack coverage for oral health care and cannot afford to pay for needed care on their own. States can make a difference by covering extensive oral health benefits in their Medicaid programs.
Former U.S. surgeon generals refer to oral disease as a “silent epidemic” affecting some of our most vulnerable citizens.
People who lack coverage for oral health care are likely to forego preventive care, get cavities, lose teeth, and suffer from periodontal disease. This can exacerbate other chronic and acute illnesses people may be experiencing.
Our voices are making a difference. At town hall meetings around the country, constituents are speaking out about lawmakers’ plans to tear down the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Keep up the good work! Here are some ways to speak out against repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Maryann, a cancer survivor from California, explains the difference that access to affordable health insurance through the Affordable Care Act has made in her life:
"Cancer is horrible. If you’ve never had to go through it, you can’t imagine what it does to you — physically, mentally, emotionally. The stress and scariness are unimaginable.
But one thing I did not have to stress about: Health insurance. In 2014, I purchased a plan through Covered California. My plan has carried me through my treatments."
Despite their rhetoric, Republicans have not shown the American people any proposal that fully protects the 129 million people with pre-existing conditions from once again being discriminated against by insurers.
What they call “continuous coverage” protection is not a real substitute for the life-long protection against discrimination that people have now. Instead continuous coverage provisions expose anyone who faces short-term hardships to the risk of being discriminated against and being denied coverage by insurers.
The Cassidy/Collins proposal is not a true replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It would cover significantly fewer people than the ACA and gut consumer protections, allowing insurers to once again discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and charge women higher premiums than men.
Last night, news broke that the Trump administration has stopped advertising and outreach for the final few days of the fourth open enrollment period. Even though the ads have stopped, the open enrollment period has not stopped. It is critical that consumers hear loud and clear that they can still enroll in coverage through January 31, 2017 and that they can get free local in-person assistance.
If Congress and the Administration are serious about protecting the coverage and benefit gains achieved thus far, their proposed plans should be judged against what the ACA accomplished when they took full control of the U.S. government. We lay out the eight ways to evaluate the quality of any replacement plan put forth by Republicans in Congress.
Originally published as a guest post at Health Affairs Blog.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions more people have coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services.