One of the problems for people of faith trying to understand the Affordable Care Act and its requirements and benefits for them is that there is bad information out there. Some of it is intentionally planted by those politically opposed to President Obama and Obamacare.
An example: A recent TV commercial from the extremely conservative, Koch-Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity (known in some circles as “Americans for the Prosperous”) focuses on a mother and her 12-year-old daughter Callie, “the most important thing in my life”. The ad goes on to show Callie as a baby wired up with all manner of medical stuff, and the mother notes that Callie “had 16 surgeries, four of them open heart”. The mother is “really worried” because “with the government in the middle of things,” they might not be able to keep their doctors. The commercial is an attack on the Affordable Care Act and refers viewers to an anti-ACA website.
What the mother should be more worried about is that, without the ACA, Callie might have a hard time keeping and affording any health insurance.
This mother and daughter should be the poster family FOR Obamacare, not an excuse for challenging it. Without Obamacare, this child will face annual and lifetime caps on her medical care. With Obamacare, no caps. Without Obamacare, she could face difficulty getting insurance throughout her life because of this serious pre-existing condition. With Obamacare, no exclusion for pre-existing conditions. Without Obamacare, her premiums, if she can get coverage at all, could be outrageously unaffordable. With Obamacare, her premiums can’t be jacked up because of her past health history. Without Obamacare she would be put off her mother’s insurance policy when she turns 22 (or graduates from college). With Obamacare, she stays on the family policy until she turns 26.
If you had a child with serious, life-threatening health issues and multiple surgeries, which do you think would be better for her – the Affordable Care Act or what we had pre-ACA?
A later news item in the local news program sponsored by Americans for Prosperity focused on a mortgage scam. A reporter tracked down the scammer and asked, “Have you no shame?” The same could be asked of AFP.
Many people of faith think all God’s children should have access to quality, affordable health care. Many of us also believe in truthfulness.
–George Reed, Executive Director