Recently, in light of the historic decision made by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under the Obama administration, the saga continues with the Obama-Romney-Ryan debate on Medicare. With all of this on the table, many Americans are wondering: What is exactly does this mean for our country?
On July 31st, 2012, New America Media hosted an informational session for ethnic media outlets in San Diego, bringing together a group of panelists to present their findings in support of the controversial legislation.
One panelist, Lucien Wulsin, Executive Director of the Insure the Uninsured Project, presented a summary outlining the key points of the Federal Health Reform that will impact the 7.2 million uninsured Californians (6.2% of which are African American). The report highlighted ten essential health benefits covering insured and uninsured U.S Citizens and legal permanent residents:
1.Hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs, mental and behavioral health, maternity, prevention and well childcare.
2.The bill would also cover 50% to 80% of California’s million uninsured (half Medi-Cal, half Exchange), depending on participation.
3.A light decrease in employment based coverage.
4.A large increases in Exchange and Medicaid (Medi-Cal) enrollment.
5.A slight decrease to small increase in small employer premiums (+1% to -3%).
6.A slight decrease in large employer premiums (0% to -3%).
7.A large decrease in premiums for individuals eligible for tax subsidies (about 45% of those now buying private individual insurance.
8.A small decrease in federal budget deficit in first decade ($50 billion).
9.A large decrease in second decade ($1 trillion).
10.A decrease in cost of State and locally funded programs for the uninsured ($100 billion nationwide over the first 5 years).
For more information visit Insure the Uninsured project at (www.itup.org).
Another panelist, Mike Odeh, Health Policy Associate for the organization Children Now, presented information on what families need to know about changes to the healthy families program. In January of 2013, Governor Brown and state lawmakers will move $875,000 children enrolled in the Healthy Families program into the Medi-Cal program in order to combine the California’s health care services for children into one program. While making the transition from one plan to the other children will not lose coverage.
For more information on healthy families and medical and to enroll, families can call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669); or visit www.healthapp.net.
Faith based community organization, San Diego Organizing (http://www.sdop.net) projects Hannah Gravette shared information on how the organization plans to educate and inform the underserved communities on the positive changes that have taken place as a result of health care reform by campaigning with those most affected by the decision.
Last to speak was Spike Dolemite, who passionately shared her story on how ACA
saved her life when she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Dolemite and her husband, who are self employed, had been purchasing health insurance on the individual market and had to end up canceling after exhausting all of their funds. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law, Dolemite will continue receiving treatment for breast cancer because of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
Learn more on Dolemites experience with ACA in an article she wrote in the LA Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/29/opinion/la-oe-ward-health-care-decision-20120629