Today marks the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and there is a lot to celebrate! The health care law has accomplished a lot in the last two years and is already helping millions of Virginia’s seniors, young adults, children and women.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court begins three days of arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, with a decision expected by June 30. While no one can truly predict how the Supreme Court Justices will rule, we know that there is a lot at stake. We know we must protect the health care law and give it time to be fully implemented.
No one understands this more than Linda Chernisky of Fairfax. Linda has experienced our broken health care system as a retired small business owner and as a daughter who watched her father die, in pain, because he could not afford health care due to a pre-existing condition.
"I cared for my ailing father who died due to lack of care. I have seen how this can devastate a family. I cannot express how grateful I am to know that future generations may not have to go through the heartache that my family experienced, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
“My dad was basically uninsurable. I grew up on a farm in Montana. Due to the physical demands of the job, my dad got sick. But like most men from his generation, he just kept working. Eventually he developed serious ulcers and a bad back. He lived out his last years in extreme pain because he did not have proper medical care. I will never forget sitting in my dad’s living room and having an argument with a health insurance salesman. I believe the insurance salesman’s exact words were that ‘they would not touch my dad with a ten foot pole.’
“If the Affordable Care Act is given a chance to work, people like my dad would have some options. The health care law has already gotten rid of pre-existing conditions for children and will for adults in 2014. In the meantime the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan is helping many Americans who have otherwise been told that the insurance companies ‘would not touch them with a ten foot pole.’
"The health care law will also help small business owners, which would have been a huge relief to me when I struggled with insurance costs for years.
I owned a landscape business for many years. We took care of our employees and wanted to provide health insurance for them and their families.
"Over the years, I looked into the prospect of providing insurance benefits many times and had a terrible time getting a reasonable rate or a straight-forward answer from the insurance companies. The deck is stacked so high against small business owners, that I gave up. Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, small businesses are already receiving tax credits to help them afford insurance and will eventually be able to buy more affordable insurance through a Health Benefits Exchange. I wish the Affordable Care Act had been around when I was struggling with health insurance premiums for my business. But I am hopeful it will be around to help others in the future.”
After spending the last thirty years dealing with perils of a broken health care system that hurts small businesses and allows the uninsured to go without care, Linda is fighting for the Affordable Care Act.
Will you join her?
Please sign the petition to ask Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Governor Bob McDonnell to stop playing politics with our health care by blocking the Affordable Care Act. Already signed the petition? Please forward it to a friend or share it on Facebook.
And help us continue to push back against attacks to the health care law, by chipping in whatever you can. Together we will fight to protect and strengthen the health care law for future generations.