Health Care Blog
- Posted byon January 9, 2015 at 6:07 PM EST
In less than two weeks, the President will deliver the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.
The State of the Union is a tradition that's as old as the presidency itself — but here's something we haven't always been able to do:
Ask you, the American people, what you'd like to see come out of it.
We're putting together a special memo ahead of the speech — one comprised of the voices of Americans from across the country, sharing that one simple but powerful thought.
Change will take work from every single one of us. So after you respond, share what you're willing to do to help see it through.
- Posted byon January 9, 2015 at 12:41 PM EST
Ed. note: This is cross-posted on The Huffington Post. See the original post here.
President Obama has said repeatedly that “when women succeed, America succeeds.” And over the past year, millions of women have gained the security of knowing that their professional, academic, financial, and personal dreams will not be put in jeopardy if they face a health challenge. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released a report detailing the important strides we have made in women’s health as a result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).
Up until last year, insurance companies could — and often did — charge women different premiums than men for the same coverage. As of January 1, 2014, the ACA prohibits this gender discrimination. In part because of improved options and affordability, today’s report outlines a significant 5.5 percentage point decline in the uninsured rate among women between the ages of 18 and 64 since 2013. And as more and more women take advantage of the Open Enrollment period that ends February 15, 2015, and sign up for affordable private health insurance, that number will continue to drop.
- Posted byon January 9, 2015 at 10:09 AM EST
"We were just about to be a statistic: being over 50 and experience a decline in work and health simultaneously. I'm sure Obamacare is why we are still in our home today."
Self-employed for 32 years in Portland, Oregon, Katherine R. and her family had to pay for health care completely out of pocket and could never rely on unemployment during hard times -- "a luxury most folks take for granted."
But the Affordable Care Act came just in time for her and her family.
- Posted byon January 8, 2015 at 9:44 AM EST
"With my ACA coverage, I'm free to own my own business, consulting from home while ensuring I am able to manage my condition and stay healthy."
The day Deborah was laid off, she was wearing a 24-hour heart monitor. She has a chronic autoimmune disorder that requires continuous health coverage. Before the Affordable Care Act, a loss like this would mean paying egregious medical costs or driving from Los Angeles to Mexico for affordable medications. But the Affordable Care Act changed all that.
- Posted byon January 7, 2015 at 1:02 PM EST
"I was a prime candidate for a major heart attack, and because of the anomalies in my heart's structure, I may not have survived it. I am 110% better, back to work, and out of pain. Health care reform gave me that chance."
A small business owner, a primary breadwinner, a working mother of four -- Karen M. is a lot of different things. But one person she did not want to be is a heart attack victim.
Her mother had a heart attack at 46 years of age. Karen herself had a persistent pain that had plagued her for years. But when she opened her own business in 2004, she found that she could not keep her coverage nor qualify for a new plan because of her pre-existing condition. So, for 10 years, she was forced to manage her chronic illness without health coverage. "I depended upon our local low cost clinic" in Burien, Washington, she said. "So I had the bare necessities covered, but there were no affordable options for follow up care."
- Posted byon January 6, 2015 at 10:13 AM EST
"I am a wife and mother to 2 young children, ages 6 & 10. I am recovering and alive because I had insurance."
Something didn't feel right, and Astrid knew it. And in April of 2013, she saw an ENT who found the unthinkable: a brain tumor. But Astrid, the mother of two young children, was a self-employed virtual assistant and cardio dance instructor, and she didn't have insurance -- so she couldn't afford to get the treatment she desperately needed.
After the Health Insurance Marketplace opened in 2014, however, Astrid was finally able to purchase insurance that would cover her medical costs.
"Because of Obamacare, I was able to have the surgery I needed and the tumor was removed on August 28, 2014," she wrote. "Had I not had the surgery, the surgeon said the tumor could have killed me in another 2 years."
For a cardio dance instructor, a half-marathon runner, and an active mother, the recovery has been hard. Now, she has to use a cane to walk and has partial hearing issues and facial paralysis. But she is grateful to have been able to get the treatment she needed and is taking her recovery one day at a time.
"I am just so blessed," she said. "I don't know what would have happened to me. I am so grateful to God and to the [Affordable Care Act]. Everything was covered."