Day Two: Virginians Know That Health Care is Not Broccoli

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    Dreaded by President George HW Bush and schoolchildren everywhere, broccoli finally gets its day in court. Today, the United Statcan-i-give-my-baby-broccolies Supreme Court heard arguments on the individual responsibility provision, also known as the individual mandate, of the Affordable Care Act. The vegetable in question has been brought up in lower court arguments by opponents of the law to make the point that if the government can require you to purchase health insurance, they can ask you to buy anything, even broccoli.

    While opponents of the law conflate using health care with buying broccoli, many Virginians who are engaged in our broken health care system have had no trouble differentiating between staggering health care bills and their grocery receipt. For those who have experienced the broken health insurance system through insurance denials, skyrocketing premiums and out-of-pocket costs, the Affordable Care Act cannot be implemented soon enough.

    For the more than one million uninsured Virginians, the Affordable Care Act will offer a desperately needed lifeline. According to a reportreleased in 2010 by Governor Bob McDonnell’s panel, the Virginia Health Reform Initiative, the ACA will cut the number of uninsured Virginians in half and significantly reduce state expenditures on uncompensated care.

    For Melissa Anderson of Newport News, the Affordable Care Act will give her desperately needed health care coverage. “Since becoming uninsured, I have been to the ER twice, including one visit for emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst that burst. The medical bills were astronomical and I have no idea how I will pay them. I am currently working two jobs to get by and going to school to better my childrens’ future,” said Anderson. “Once the health care law is in place, I will get some relief. Until then, I will try to stay healthy and hope that the Supreme Court and Congress do not block my chance at health care.”

    Luke Drescher of Harrisonburg celebrates the Affordable Care Act for its benefits to his business, his clients and his family. “As a life and health insurance agent for over 31 years, I find the Affordable Care Act is already full of positive results and should be given time to work. Since it was enacted, the law has helped my business and my clients by lowering costs on policies, providing more coverage options and expanding those who can be covered,” said Drescher.

    “I have also seen huge improvements for my senior clients including lower prescription drug costs and fewer out-of-pockets expenses. The health care law is even helping my own grandson who was recently able to go back on his parents' plan when he left college,” added Drescher. “After closely observing the health insurance industry for three decades, I am happy to say that the Affordable Care Act is providing effective and much-needed reform.”

     

    Virginia Organizing will continue its statewide celebration of the Affordable Care Act this week with a Small Business and the ACA Breakfast in Fredericksburg on Thursday and an ACA Forum in Virginia Beach on Saturday.

    Two Virginia residents will also be telling their Medicaid stories at a news conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. Linda and Eric Christenson of Arlington will share the story of their granddaughter relying on Medicaid to get her through serious health problems while in their custody. Theodore Method, 80, of Alexandria will share his story of Medicaid providing nursing home care for his wife of 50 years whom he visits daily.