The numbers don’t lie: Healthcare reform law is helping Californians
Ventura County Star | January 8, 2011 | Representative Lois Capps
In the long-running television series “The West Wing,” President Josiah Bartlett exclaims, “If you want to convince me of something, show me numbers.” Well, I’ve seen the numbers on the historic health insurance reform law passed last year and they show how it’s making a difference in the lives of people across the Central Coast and this country.
That’s why when the new leadership of Congress rushes a bill to the floor this week to repeal the law, I’ll be voting no. Healthcare reform guarantees that tens of millions of Americans currently without coverage will soon get it. According to The Star’s own reporting, 22 percent of adults in Ventura County are uninsured. But the law is especially important for the millions of people already covered because it guarantees affordable insurance will be there when you need it most.
For example, the law has already banned the odious insurance company practice of refusing coverage to children with so-called “pre-existing conditions.” In the next few years that protection will apply to all adults as well. In the meantime, states have set up plans for individuals who have already been turned away by insurance companies. And insurance companies are now banned from imposing lifetime limits to restrict how much healthcare you can receive under their plans.
We all know people who are already benefitting from this new law. But I was particularly moved when I recently read in the paper about the Strong family of Santa Barbara. At 6 months old, Bill and Victoria Strong’s daughter, Gwendolyn, was diagnosed with a rare disease, spinal muscular atrophy. Her care is extremely expensive, and before healthcare reform the Strongs lived in constant fear that Gwendolyn would reach her individual policy’s lifetime limit and become uninsurable because of her pre-existing condition.
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