Dr. Laura Chalfin, New York: An 18-year-old boy with severe hemophilia decided that when he turned 24 and could no longer be kept on his parents' insurance he would kill himself by opening a vein. He saw no other way out.
Dr. Benjamin Westley, Rhode Island: A 19 year-old girl came to me recently with untreated HIV acquired from sexual abuse. Due to changes in the ACA [Affordable Care Act], she is now covered by her father's insurance until age 26. Because of this, we were able to initiate her treatment immediately, and provide her with the necessary follow-up she needs for multiple issues. Revoking her insurance would be unthinkable to anyone sitting across from her, helping her cope and trying to provide support.*
In the past 42 hours since we started our #20mins social media campaign, 136 uninsured Americans died prematurely due to their lack of health insurance.
This has to stop.
Throughout those same 42 hours we’ve shared stories of doctors, patients, and family members from all across America who have either already benefitted from the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), who are waiting for the full implementation of the ACA, or who desperately needed it but it was too late. These are stories our members here and see every day while at work or out in their communities trying to clear up the confusion about the Affordable Care Act.
These stories are why Doctors for America, a nonpartisan grassroots organization made up of 16,000 doctors and medical students, continues its fight for access to high-quality affordable health care for all Americans. These stories are also why Doctors for America believes the Affordable Care Act is the first step in the right direction.
- The Affordable Care Act protects those of us with health insurance by making sure working families cannot be denied coverage due to a pre- existing condition, or lose their coverage when someone gets sick. Working families won’t have to fear losing their insurance when they need it most.
- To make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, the Affordable Care Act holds insurance companies accountable by putting limits on their rate increases, forcing them to use your premiums to pay mainly for actual care and not too much on administrative costs and advertising, and closing the Medicare donut hole so seniors can afford their medications.
- Small businesses can qualify for tax credits to help them purchase insurance and allow them to band together to get the same lower rates for healthcare that big corporations get.
- And—most importantly—the Affordable Care Act helps you gain access to health care providers, but it doesn’t have anything to do with who that provider is. You make those choices now and they will remain your choice.
Despite all these benefits, the Affordable Care Act is threatened by politics. Your health, access to health care insurance, and your health care provider’s ability to treat you shouldn’t depend on politicians. That’s why our 16,000 doctors and medical students are out in their communities educating and mobilizing to make sure all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health care.
Because even just one premature death due to a lack of health insurance is too many—let alone 26,1000 a year.
*These, like all of our stories, have been collected by doctors and medical students from members of their community while out educating people about the Affordable Care Act.
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