Nearly 30 million people across the country go without adequate health insurance, in many cases relying on an overburdened, costly emergency room system as their primary care provider. Over 100,000 people living in the 8th District of Virginia face this situation.
But the Affordable Care Act is about to change this unsustainable dynamic. For the first time, securing affordable, quality, and accessible healthcare coverage will be a right, not a privilege, for every American. It is about wellness and prevention, economic security and entrepreneurship, the well-being of working families and the strength of the middle class. In short, this historic law is about a healthier America.
Women will no longer pay more simply because of their gender, over three million young people under the age of 26 have the option to stay on their parents’ insurance plans, and subsidies will be available to help cover premiums for workers making less than $43,000 and families making less than $94,000, a large number of which are young people just starting out in the workforce. The ACA is a major step forward for better healthcare for all Americans, freeing people to pursue their dreams without fear of not having health coverage when they need it most.
Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly declined to create a state insurance marketplace. Therefore, Virginians will have access to the federal exchange, which opens for business on October 1st, with insurance policies going into effect on January 1st.
For the uninsured, the self-employed, small business employees, or those currently purchasing plans on the individual market, it is particularly important to learn how the exchange works and what insurance choices will be made available.
Despite the law’s major benefits, Republicans have waged a disruptive and harmful campaign to complicate, delay and undermine the ACA. Rather than conduct the nation’s business and complete a budget, the House has voted 40 times this year alone to repeal the ACA. Now, a number within their ranks are threatening to shut the government down or hold our nation’s credit rating hostage in misguided effort to take down the law.
To get the full story about how the Affordable Care Act will benefit Virginians, I’m hosting a panel discussion on “Navigating the Affordable Care Act: Making Health Reform Work for You and Your Family” on Monday, September 16th at TC Williams High School in Alexandria.
Healthcare experts and community and industry leaders will be on hand to walk constituents through the new law from A to Z. I hope you can join me that evening; your questions and comments are welcome.