To the Editor:
Those of us with health insurance got a rare bit of good news in the mail over the last few weeks from our insurance carriers. We were told that starting back on Sept. 23, or certainly during 2011, young adults could still be covered on their parents’ policies up to age 26; insurers would cover the full cost, without deductibles or co-pays, for key preventive services; children could not be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions; and no new or renewing policies could impose limits on life-time benefits.
These, and more rights and benefits, are the first fruits of the Affordable Care Act -- health care reform -- passed by Congress and signed by Pres. Obama on March 23rd last year. In addition to the above, small businesses can now apply for federal grants to help defray the cost for purchasing health insurance for their employees. And those people who have been shut out of purchasing any insurance because of a pre-existing medical condition could be eligible for help from a temporary government pool that offers them coverage.
These are great enhancements to America’s health care system that are improving care and saving lives right now. More are on the way as we work toward full implementation by 2014, including guaranteeing that affordable insurance will be available to all, without requiring anyone to change from their current doctor or company.
Yet the Republicans, early in January, will present a bill to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act. A spokesman for the incoming majority leader calls the bill “a job-killer for businesses small and large.” That just isn’t so. Instead, it offers a lot of help to business to make it possible for their employees to get and keep affordable health care.
If Republicans succeed in repealing our health care reform legislation, in whole or part, or effectively delay its implementation, that would literally be “a people-killer” for many Americans who desperately need access to quality and timely care. Surely, much preventable suffering and worry over health issues hangs in the balance.
Please learn more about the health care reform law. Visit healthcare.gov for clear and dependable information. Then contact your elected officials in Washington and ask them to be sure to save our health care reform. Many lives depend on the outcome.
Wade Wheelock, Canton