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One year later: No death panels here

By Ron Pollack,


I don’t know about you, but it seems like yesterday that Sarah Palin was speaking into every microphone she could find lamenting that health reform would lead to President Obama personally pulling the plug on your grandma.

Well, you’ll be happy to know that it’s been exactly one year since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama and not one beloved grandmother has been subjected to a death panel.

In fact, seniors have actually benefitted from the historic law. A total of 46 million Medicare beneficiaries now have access to preventive care free-of-charge. Yes, you read that right. Preventive services are now FREE for Medicare beneficiaries and for Americans with new insurance plans. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of so-called “death panels.”

Additionally, over 3.4 million uninsured young adults throughout America have the option to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan up until age 26. For recent college graduates, who are either having trouble finding jobs in this tough economy or have found jobs that don’t offer coverage, this provision is a saving grace.

And while Republicans in Congress talk a lot about jobs, let’s take a moment to discuss what the Affordable Care Act is doing for America’s economic backbone: small businesses.

Over 4.1 million small businesses are eligible for tax credits, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. This means that small business employers, who were struggling to afford health coverage for their workers, will now receive tax credits to help them do so.

Kids also receive important help. Currently, there are nearly 5 million American children that – if not for the Affordable Care Act – could be denied health insurance simply because they have a pre-existing condition. Some of them  were born with diabetes and some are unlucky enough to have asthma.

But, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition, meaning each and every one of these 5 million children will have access to quality, affordable health care coverage.

As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we continue to hear the same old spin from the right-wing. But really look at what a difference this law is already making:

  • 46 million seniors given access to FREE preventive care;
  • 3.4 million uninsured young adults who can stay on their parents’ health plan until age 26;
  • 4.1 million small businesses that are eligible for tax credits to help cover their employees; and
  • 5 million children who cannot be denied coverage simply because they have a pre-existing condition.

ALL of these protections would be taken away if health reform’s opponents are successful in repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Right now, people in your state, community, and your neighborhood are feeling the benefits of the law. And you can see exactly how the Affordable Care Act is helping your state by visiting our brand new, interactive map on Facebook. You can check it out here.

So, today, March 23, the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we all need to send a message loud and clear to all of the Republican members of Congress who seek to eviscerate our health rights for their political gain: It’s time to celebrate all of the benefits of the law, not rollback provisions that have already made a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.

Join us for this monumental celebration by contacting members of Congress. Americans’ lives are depending on it.