It’s official, or as official as things transmitted by Tweets can get, Representative Joe Heck (R-NV3) wants a Full Repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Patients Bill of Rights. He’ll get his chance to make his symbolic vote during the week of July 9th if House leadership continues to shudder and rail against “Obamacare.”
Nevada’s third district representative obviously hasn’t declared his independence from the health insurance corporations. So, on the occasion of this 4th of July perhaps it’s time for a reminder about the freedoms now available to all Americans as a result of the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Freedom from being denied coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition. Under the terms of the ACA you cannot be denied coverage because you have a medical condition, or have had a medical condition, which an insurance corporation doesn’t want to cover.
Freedom from being denied treatment because you have used up the “life time” limits of a health insurance policy. These “junk policies” have been sold across the nation, and the unfortunate result is that a person may be receiving treatment for a catastrophic condition like cancer only to discover that the treatment may be stopped because the “limit” has been reached. You are also free from policies that have annual limits.
Freedom from having to rely on expensive emergency room treatment. No longer will uninsured Americans and their children have to wait for medical treatment in an emergency situation for a condition that could have been treated earlier and much less expensively in a doctor’s office.
Freedom from worrying that our children will be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions like asthma, or other chronic conditions. The ACA also allows parents to keep their children on their own health insurance plans until they are old enough to be able to purchase their own insurance.
Freedom for senior citizens to purchase their prescriptions without the infamous do-nut hole swallowing their income.
Freedom from having an insurance corporation rescind your health insurance coverage when you become ill because of a technical error or inadvertent mistake. You cannot be denied coverage because of some artificially determined ‘error’ on an application.
Freedom to appeal a decision by a health insurance corporation in an independent review. You may now appeal decisions concerning coverage and claims.
Freedom for small businesses to receive health insurance tax credits to help them provide health insurance coverage for their employees.
Freedom from worrying about whether your health insurance plan covers preventative medicine. Blood pressure screenings, mammography, cholesterol screening, colorectal cancer screenings, and other preventative medical screenings must now be covered.
Freedom from being charged unreasonable rates for health insurance plans. Insurance corporations must now justify their rates if the states so decide. In areas like rural northern Nevada in which there may be only one company writing policies this is important.
Freedom to choose between nursing home and home based health care services for elderly family members. Under the ACA states may offer community based or home based services for the elderly under Medicaid instead of having to rely on institutional services.
Freedom to know how hospitals rate in terms of treatment for heart attacks, pneumonia, and surgical care. The best health care consumer is an informed health care consumer, and the ACA helps make consumers better informed through reporting systems.
Freedom from paperwork. Under the provisions of the ACA doctors, hospitals, and labs can “bundle” their billings for care for a particular episode covered by Medicare. This will save time, paper, and confusion.
Freedom from being charged more for a health insurance policy because of your gender or health status. Being a woman will no longer be a “pre-existing condition.”
Freedom to participate in a clinical trial. Health insurance corporations will no longer be able to deny coverage or limit it because you choose to participate in a clinical trial.
Freedom to participate in your current health care plan, or choose to participate in a health care exchange if your employer cannot provide a plan. Workers meeting certain requirements who cannot afford the coverage provided by their employer may take whatever funds their employer might have contributed to their insurance and use these resources to help purchase a more affordable plan in the new health insurance Exchanges.
Perhaps this is just way too much FREEDOM for the advocates of the health insurance industry? Does Representative Heck really want to repeal these freedoms for the citizens in his district?
For more information on the key provisions of the ACA click here.