After an exhausting year of debating health reform, we have finally reached the home stretch. We are closer than we have ever been to affordable, comprehensive health reform. However, opponents of reform continue to do everything in their power to delay, mislead, and disrupt the process. While they may score short-term political points, I have to wonder if they know what is truly at stake.
We may say it a lot, but it bears repeating one more time: We are closer than ever to enacting comprehensive health reform. So close, in fact, we can almost taste it over here at Stand Up for Health Care.
Unfortunately, not everyone is as excited about the prospect of passing health reform as we are.
No strangers to stall tactics, opponents of health reform have developed a habit of telling us to "start over" and "scrap the bill" instead of just compromising and forging ahead with the bills the Senate and the House have passed.
First, there were the highly publicized rate hikes in California. Then, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report detailing rate hikes in several more states. And then there was WellPoint, who joined the club last week by jacking up premiums in 11 states.
The fight over health reform has reached a fevered pitch, but between all the arguing over process and the lies and distortions that have been thrown around by the opposition, the true meaning of reform seems to have been lost: People's lives are at stake.
A recent Kaiser Poll showed that while Americans are split on their support for the health care legislation in general, they are very supportive of individual aspects of the legislation. The logic then follows-to generate more support among those that are wary, we need to be clear about the all of the protections and benefits Americans will receive with health reform.
The news of WellPoint's Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield hiking up premiums for its customers in California by 39% made waves across the country, and many other of WellPoint's affiliates will soon follow suit.
California consumers are not alone as they face huge premium hikes. Other consumers in states across the country also will see rate hikes from WellPoint this year.
Examines the Affordable Care Act's requirement that states keep the same eligibility levels in Medicaid and CHIP until 2014 for adults and until 2019 for children.
Discusses the gaps in the current health coverage system in each state and explains how the Affordable Care Act will fill those gaps and help state residents.
Explains why it's essential to pass the Affordable Care Act and to implement it on time and includes state-level estimates of how many people die each year because they don't have health insurance.
Last week, a few of my colleagues and I had the honor of meeting up with a group of 10 dedicated health care activists from Philadelphia Unemployment Project and Pennsylvania HCAN who were finishing up the last leg of a 150 mile march from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. Melanie's March, named after an avid health reform activist, Melanie Shouse, who recently passed away from breast cancer, sought to show legislators just how urgently we need health reform.