The big 0-3

birthday.jpgTomorrow marks the third anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, a landmark law that will extend health benefits to more than 30 million people who are now uninsured. Since the law survived a Supreme Court review and the 2012 election, we now know the law is here to stay. Affordable, quality health care will be woven into the fabric of American society, making us stronger and healthier as a nation.

Already, we’ve seen people with pre-existing conditions enabled, for the first time, to buy affordable insurance. Children with health problems can no longer be turned down for coverage. Small businesses have access to tax credits to get health insurance for their employees. Women have access to preventive care without co-pays, seniors are paying less for prescription medicines and health insurers now must adhere to strict guidelines on the share of your premium dollar that must be used on medical care rather than overhead, salaries and marketing costs.

Starting in October, individuals and small business owners will be able to buy health private insurance in state-based marketplaces or enroll in expanded Medicaid programs. Both will increase access to no-cost preventive care millions.

In 2014, with law in full effect, annual limits on insurance coverage will be eliminated, exclusion of people with pre-existing conditions will be outlawed and tax credits for families and small business will be expanded.  

Despite the good news, the fight to make sure that all Americans benefit from the law isn’t over. This week the House passed the 2014 spending plan put forward by GOP Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the failed GOP vice-presidential nominee in 2012. This extremist budget would repeal Obamacare and end Medicare as we know it. Meanwhile, some states are fighting the Medicaid expansion needed to make the Affordable Care Act work for those most in need.

So even though we celebrate this great anniversary, Action NC and HCAN will continue the fight to make sure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care. We will fight to ensure that the Obamacare provision guaranteeing no-cost contraception stays on the books. We will resist every House GOP repeal attempt, and oppose every budget item that raises prices for consumers to protect insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

The fight isn't over, but we've proud of what we've been able to accomplish. To the many of our members and supporters who have helped us during the fight, we thank you. And to those of you who are new, well, what are you waiting for? Join us.