Given the size and scope of the Affordable Care Act, learning about what it has to offer can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Amidst all the many benefits heading our way—the law eliminates pre-existing condition exclusions, allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan, provides subsidies to help pay for coverage, requires insurance companies to spend more premium dollars directly on medical care, helps people appeal insurers’ decisions, etc.—it’s easy to miss some of the less high-profile, but equally important, protections included in the law.
November is National Caregivers Month—a time to recognize and celebrate caregivers for their important role in our lives. There are professional caregivers, but there are also about 52 million unpaid caregivers—spouses, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and others who take care of loved ones in the home.
Aesop tells us an interesting story called “The Crab and His Mother.” The fable goes:
A crab said to her son, "Why do you walk so one-sided, my child? It is far more becoming to go straight forward." The young crab replied: "Quite true, dear Mother; and if you will show me the straight way, I will promise to walk in it." The mother tried in vain, and submitted without remonstrance to the reproof of her child.
Hold that thought for just a moment, while Senator Orrin Hatch tells us another interesting story.
During the final months leading up to the passage of health reform, it seemed you couldn’t read a newspaper without seeing a headline about another insurance company attempting to impose enormous rate hikes on its customers in the individual market.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, people with Medicare saved $2.1 billion on prescription drugs in 2011.
In 1966, Lyndon Johnson was president. The Beatles were at the top of the charts. The Civil Rights Movement marched on, and the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War deepened.
The country was different then. The population was smaller and, on average, younger. Life expectancy was seven years shorter. And if you were old, you were more likely to be poor. Health care was less expensive, but many of today's most beneficial treatments, surgeries, and prescription drugs for a variety of diseases had not yet been developed.
The last few years have been difficult for families across America. Many have lost their jobs, their homes, and their health insurance. According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 59 million Americans interviewed between January and March 2010 went without health coverage at some point in the previous year. This staggering figure is made up of people of all ages, the healthy and the sick, and people with both low and middle incomes.
What's the big deal about September 23? Well, it's the day that the dependent coverage provision - young adults being able to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26 - becomes law. It's the day that approximately 2 million young Americans will gain the security and peace of mind that comes with getting covered.
You may remember when Federal Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the entire health care law was unconstitutional earlier this year. His logic went something like this: Because he found the individual responsibility provision unconstitutional (apparently, because he thought health insurance is not interstate commerce), then the entire law must be thrown out. Experts across the ideological spectrum agreed that Judge Vinson was severely overreaching. After the ruling, the Obama Administration appealed Judge Vinson’s decision. And now, we enter round two.