One year ago today, President Obama signed the historic Affordable Care Act into law. In the 12 months since enacted, many new patient protections and benefits have already taken effect – insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions or take away individuals’ health coverage when they need it most; all new health plans must offer free preventive care that will help Americans stay healthy; and young people can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, while they look for a job or finish school.
The Affordable Care Act has made a difference for people across the country, people like Janice of Cleveland, Tenn. Janice’s daughter was born with Down’s Syndrome and because it is a pre-existing condition, she could never get coverage.
In January, Janice received a letter from her insurance company explaining that because of the Affordable Care Act, her family’s policy is no longer subject to a lifetime maximum of $250,000.
Janice said: “This is huge for our family. It means our family is protected from losing our home, our farm, our life savings simply because someone gets hurt or sick. My husband & daughter, because of the Affordable Care Act can no longer be denied access to insurance because of pre-existing conditions.”
Janice’s daughter is one of 2,800,000 Tennessee residents with a pre-existing condition who could be denied coverage by insurance companies without the protections in the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act provides Tennesseans with more freedom and control in their health care choices. It gives families the freedom from worrying about losing their insurance, or having it capped unexpectedly if someone is in an accident or becomes sick. It frees Americans from discrimination when insurance companies deny women health insurance because they are pregnant, or refuse to provide coverage to children who are born with disabilities.
Despite the clear benefits of this law for every Tennessean, our Republican lawmakers in Nashville and Washington, D.C. continue to challenge health care reform in Congress and in the courts. Repealing or even defunding the Affordable Care Act would put the many benefits of health reform at risk and add over a trillion dollars to the national deficit.
It is critical that we continue to protect the Affordable Care Act and prevent Republicans from rolling back new health care benefits for Tennesseans. We applaud President Obama, our Democratic delegation and other Democrats in Congress for their leadership in making tough choices to improve America’s health care system and we look forward to celebrating the passage of this historic law far into the future.
To see how the Affordable Care Act benefits you, click here: http://www.heathcare.gov.