Andrew Ondrejcak, 24, was attempting to live out his dream. He moved from a small town to New York City to start a career in fashion. To make ends-meet, Andrew worked at a local bakery. He could barely afford rent and health insurance was out of the question.
It is likely sometime in your life that you, or someone you know, have been denied insurance coverage due to a pre-existing condition. According to a report recently released by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services:
"12.6 million non-elderly adults- 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market - were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years."
Spring is the part of the year for something new to begin. A new love, new flowers blooming, a new baseball season-spring symbolizes a fresh start for the days ahead.
This metaphor can be applied to health care, as a new era of insurance reforms are set to debut. Many provisions are being implemented immediately or within the next year, so the details about the bill can be confusing. But as the winter clouds make way for sunny spring skies, Families USA has set up a resource to shine light on the new reforms.
Senator Tom Harkin was recently quoted in a New York Times article saying, "We don't have a health care system in America. We have a sick care system. If you get sick, you get care. But precious little is spent to keep people healthy in the first place."
The victory on health reform was long overdue and will make great strides in improving the lives of millions of American families-bringing us closer to a more just and equitable health care system. But you wouldn't know it to talk to opponents of reform. Despite the popularity of the individual provisions of the health reform law, opponents have continued their tactics of misinformation and negative rhetoric.
As soon as President Obama signed the historic health insurance reform, 13 attorneys general began proceedings to sue the federal government to stop the law. And like every other step on the way to reform, politics are overshadowing the benefits of this law.
A recent report by Families shows the number of non-elderly people who will benefit from reform in each state. Let's take a closer look at the states where the attorney general is suing, shall we?
Helping People with Long-Term Health Care Needs: Improving Access to Home- and Community-Based Services
Examines how the Affordable Care Act gives states an incentive to expand home- and community-based services in Medicaid for people who need long-term care.
Highlights the major changes the Affordable Care Act will make to health coverage and care, such as expanding Medicaid, creating health insurance marketplaces, and providing new consumer protections.
Outlines the main elements of the Affordable Care Act that will go into effect right away, including help for people with pre-existing conditions, free preventive services, and improved Medicare drug coverage.
Highlights the limitations in states' abilities to keep health insurance premium increases in check and explains how health reform will give states more authority to do so.