Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Health care....a kitchen table discussion

Health care is a major kitchen table discussion among moms and dads across America.  According to a 2010 article by USA TODAY, " in 2010, 50.7 million Americans were without health care". My husband and I have spent many evenings discussing our family's health care status. Even though we were business owners, we could not afford to pay for private insurance. Most people think that it's the unemployed that go without insurance, but it's also those who work and make too much for State funded insurance but not enough for private insurance.

Health care is a right not a privilege. Parents should be able to provide that one fundamental safety net for their children....Health care. During the time we were uninsured, my oldest son broke his ankle, my younger son had several asthma attacks and I had an ectopic pregnancy! Thankfully, we had friends who are doctors and we made it through those difficult times getting the care we needed. But what about those families who have no where to turn?  I firmly believe that we are our brothers and sisters keepers. It's our job to support  moms who may be in this situation and need help and guidance through these difficult times. No time for pride nor embarrassment because a 'closed mouth won't get fed'. Speak out and seek help among friends. We are here to help each other. Most families are living paycheck to paycheck. The middle class as we know it seems to have disappeared.  We must be willing to support and encourage those who are having difficulty. Reach out to families whom you know are without insurance. There are state funded programs that can help them.

A report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation estimates the effects the Affordable Care Act. A portion of The report, written by Urban Institute researchers are as follows:

■The share of adults under age 65 without health insurance would decline by 28 million, from 18.6 to 8.3 percent.

■Costs of uncompensated care provided to the uninsured would drop by 61 percent, from $69.6 billion to $27.3 billion.

■Nearly 30 percent of those who would have been uninsured without reform would be covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Another 20 percent would be covered through the new health insurance exchanges and an additional 10 percent would be covered by private insurance outside the exchanges. Of the remaining 40 percent—those who would still be uninsured—most would be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but are expected to choose not to enroll.

■The expansion of Medicaid would enroll 13 million adults and nearly 4 million children.

■About 44 million people under age 65 would be covered through health insurance exchanges. About half, 23 million, would be covered by nongroup insurance, the rest by employer-sponsored exchange plans.

This is good news but until these go into full effect under the Affordable Care Act, we need to support each other and find ways that we can help. Talk to your friends and be a friend. Be supportive, be understanding, be healthy and embrace your journey.


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