Sunday, November 4, 2012

ACA update: health care at the polls




By Emily McKinley, Health Information Specialist

In a few days, the 2012 election season will be a thing of the past. Some will cheer, some will fret, and some will simply sigh relief that the barrage of political ads no longer dominate our television screens, roadsides, and, even, voicemails. That said, we encourage you to use your voice to vote for the candidates who will best serve your comprehensive needs.

One of the hot topics this year has been health care reform. During his term, President Obama and our bipartisan Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act, which is arguably the largest attempt at health care reform in our nation’s history. The legislation is massive, both in page numbers and policies, and it is our nation’s attempt at ensuring health care for all Americans. Over the past year, Family Voices has endeavored to educate consumers about the provisions of the act and how the ACA was designed to work for you. Those posts and other commentary are available on our blog under the tags Affordable Care Act and Affordable Care Act Anniversary. We encourage you to review those posts as well as other information, such as WebMD’s Health Care in the Election special report, to help you learn what is at stake after the election. The WebMD report presents a side-by-side comparison of the Affordable Care Act and Governor Mitt Romney’s proposed health care reforms, which includes repealing the ACA. We encourage you to browse each section of the report so that you can see how both candidates’ proposals will affect each sector of our population.

For information directly from each candidate, you can view their campaign sites. Here, President Obama’s campaign helps readers learn about the specific benefits of the ACA for their families. Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign site posts his proposed health care policies and reforms here.

Before you go to the polls on November 6, it is our sincere hope that you will seriously consider the implications for you and your family of voting for any candidate. Many of our readers have experienced daily frustration and challenges with regard to getting the appropriate health care services for themselves or their families and immediately feel the impact of any health care reform. For our readers who have not had experience stamp these struggles on the forefront of your mind, we encourage you to think of your future and that of your children. There are no guarantees against health care crises, chronic illnesses, or lifelong diagnoses, and any day we may find ourselves walking an unforeseen and drastically different path.  Therefore, it is essential that we are vigilant and purposeful in our decisions.

Change is hard. If President Obama is reelected and the Affordable Care Act continues to unfold, we, as the people of the United States, must work together to adjust to the changes and ensure that they are in keeping with the spirit of the act and the needs of our nation. If Governor Mitt Romney is elected, it is equally as essential that we work to ensure our voices are heard so that once the Affordable Care Act is repealed, the most vulnerable populations of our citizenry are not without the health care they need to pursue their happiness.

Thank you for using your voice this voting season.

For more information about the Affordable Care Act or for resources for you and your family, please visit our website, www.fvindiana.org or contact Family Voices Indiana at 317.944.8982 or info@fvindiana.org

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