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Kent April 15, 2021

Gratitude for this anniversary

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

While many issues in this country remain in need of long-term solutions, Americans can take some solace in knowing that the Affordable Care Act, despite multiple ongoing attempts to take it down since its inception in 2010, remains in force. Its purpose was to give all across the nation who needed health care real options. When President Biden took office, he took lots of actions, and one of those was to extend open enrollment for the ACA from February through May 15. Clearly that was an effective measure, in that more than 200,000 Americans signed up in just the first weeks, according to The New York Times. There could be no better way to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the act. 

The weakening of the act including removing the mandate that states expand their Medicaid programs, as well as the rising costs of prescriptions, medical procedures and hospital stays, have created challenges around its effectiveness that must be addressed. But there are generous incentives to states in the stimulus legislation recently passed and signed by Biden that even some Republican-controlled states are starting to take advantage of. Though many Democrats and independents are pushing for universal health care to be available to all, which would be a good thing, using the ACA to its greatest advantage would be another universally beneficial step. It would also help to have the ongoing court cases against the act pulled out of the dockets now that Trump is no longer in power.

If the ACA can be improved, expanded and used in all 50 states, without continuing to make it a political trigger rather than one based on human needs, that alone will help many thousands across the country who have lost their health care when they lost their employment during the onslaught of COVID-19 and it variants. What could put an individual and their loved ones more at risk during such a vulnerable time as this of pandemic than to lose one’s job, and then lose health care coverage? Just when medical care is of the utmost importance, Americans should not feel unsupported: rather, the ACA should be there for all who need that coverage, no matter their political affiliation or that of their state government. 

If there are any readers who would be willing to share their experiences, good or bad, with a loss of health insurance and the use of the Affordable Care Act, this newspaper would be glad to publish  your letters on this page. The more we learn from each other on critical issues like this, especially during the pandemic, the better off we all will be in the long run.

Remember help is available to navigate the system to sign up for the ACA at healthpathfinder.org, or at AccessHealthCT.com. 

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