Young people, senior citizens, and health care providers available for interviews about the benefits of the ACA
Charlottesville, Va.— In advance the Affordable Care Act’s 10th anniversary on March 23, Virginia Organizing will offer interviews across Virginia as part of a movement-wide day of action to celebrate the achievements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its first decade and educate the public about how President Trump’s continued assault on the law puts our health care at risk.
Virginia Organizing has worked for 25 years to promote health care for all. Members and leaders around the state fought for the ACA in 2009. Later, they rallied and lobbied legislators for years to pass Medicaid Expansion in the Commonwealth. The group continues to work for affordable prescription drugs.
Since the ACA became law in 2010, 20 million people have gained health coverage and 130 million people gained protections for pre-existing conditions that stop insurance companies from denying coverage and services. It also ended the practice of rejecting or hiking up premiums for women because they have been pregnant. The majority of the public supports the law as a whole, and many provisions overwhelmingly popular on both sides of the aisle.
The law is currently threatened by Texas v California, an attempt by the Trump administration to cause the ACA to be overturned. Because the administration eliminated the penalty for not getting coverage, the individual mandate is no longer funded by a “tax,” which means it might be determined to be unconstitutional. The administration has asked that the entire law be overturned in that case.
Medicaid expansion, coverage of people under 26 on their parents’ insurance, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions are only a few of the issues that would cause a crisis for millions if the law is overturned.
“I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007,” said Susan Perry, a leader in the Charlottesville Chapter. “When I left my job in 2013, I was able to get coverage because of the ACA. Between my participation in clinical trials and having insurance, I received all the treatment needed to get me into remission.”
Crystal Harrison from Portsmouth has also benefited from the new health care programs.
“Medicaid Expansion got me the medicine I need for my high blood pressure, and I was able to see the dentist for the first time in my life at age 40!” she said.
Amanda Dameron of Harrisonburg reported, “I’m 23 years old, and I was working part-time at a middle school. Three months ago I was laid off. Thankfully, my health care was protected because the ACA allows me to stay on my parents’ insurance until I’m 26. Without this protection I would have been uninsured.”
Laverne Jackson of Newport News has seen the benefit of the ACA for many people.
“When I was a nurse at a children’s clinic a lot of parents didn’t have insurance while their kids did. One time a mother came in for her child, and the mom had something growing on her leg. We tested and it was skin cancer. She didn’t have any insurance to cover her until the ACA passed.
“I’ve worked with critical care nurses who didn’t have insurance because they had to choose between mortgages and health care premiums. The ACA has been a life saver for so many people but it isn’t enough. We work to protect what we’ve won while also fighting for more,” Jackson said.