“Care,” the New Four-Letter Word

Thank you Affordable Care Act. In the current political climate it is rare to hear praise for this important legislation that the last Congress fought so hard to pass. Healthcare Reform has become a dirty term and the efforts to undo it are an unfortunate distraction from the problems our country truly need fixed. I feel the need to point out; however, that the only four-letter word in the legislation is “Care.”

We must look past the political rhetoric and evaluate the gains Healthcare Reform has provided to understand what is at risk if we do not fight to protect this legislation.

The list of benefits obtained through the PPACA is remarkable. Wellness exams, mammograms, domestic violence screenings and colonoscopies will all be available without co-pay. Children cannot be discriminated against due to pre-existing conditions and are able to stay on their parent’s healthcare until 26 years of age. These services have already been implemented and more will be added by the year 2014.

The 2012 elections are important to protect those benefits we currently enjoy. They are also important as we protect those benefits that we have yet to see realized. In 2014, Americans will witness the end to the day that pre-existing conditions serve as a barrier to adequate healthcare. If the administration that takes office in 2012, however, does not want to uphold the current legislation we will never see these benefits realized.

As a young, and extremely fit, woman most would assume that healthcare is the least of my concerns. I’ve been told that I can for sure have adequate care for $50 a month- easy! What is not always easily seen or known is that even young people can have chronic health problems- well controlled petit mal epilepsy in this case-that either leave them with extraordinary fees or no “care” at all.

My current solution is COBRA, but that runs out eventually- luckily not before 2014. For me, keeping the Affordable Care Act safe is not just theoretically nice, it is personal. The results of the 2012 election will directly affect the following four years of legislation, but could have drastic impacts on our lives for decades.

We often forget just how important our votes are and the fight that women suffered in order to gain them. We truly stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Let’s make them proud. I can’t wait to see you on the way to the ballot box next November. I’ll be voting for my Health and Economic Rights, and yours too.

ABOVE: Rally for health care reform, photo from Flickr user ProgressOhio under Creative Commons 2.0

This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival. Read more HERvotes posts by Ms. and other women’s groups.