By Allan Jamail
Houston, TX. Friday, February 17, 2017 at the Julia C. Hester House Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of the 18th Congressional District joined with Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and health professionals at a community forum on saving the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a law that has expanded the access to affordable health care to millions of Americans.
Congresswoman Lee said, “Quality affordable health care ought to be a right and not a privilege and that’s why we can’t afford to turn the clock back now; the affordable care act is not about statistics, it’s about the people you know and love.”
Health Professionals included, Dr. Natalie Dailey infectious disease specialist; graduate Harvard Medical School, George Masi, President and CEO of Harris Health, Steve Schnee, Executive Director of the Harris Center for Mental Health, Dr. Janice Beal, Ann Thielke, CEO, Good Neighbor Healthcare Center-Fourth Ward Clinic, Dr. Ann Barnes, Chief Medical Officer, Legacy Community Health Montrose Clinic, Steve Williams, Director, Houston Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Dona K. Murphey, Formerly Associated with Baylor College of Medicine.
As a result of the ACA:
• 100 million Americans no longer have a life-time limit on healthcare coverage.
• 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage by insurers.
• 6.6 million young-adults up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health insurance plans.
• 6.3 million Seniors in the “donut hole” have saved $6.1 billion on their prescription drugs.
• 3.2 million Seniors have access to free annual wellness visits under Medicare, and
• 360,000 Small Businesses are using the Health Care Tax Credit to help them provide health insurance to their workers.
The risks of repeal and dismantle, the plan Republicans have for the ACA are profound. In Texas alone, 1,874,000 individuals who have gained coverage since the ACA was implemented could lose it if the law is entirely or partially repealed.
Nearly a million individuals in the state who received financial assistance to purchase affordable Marketplace coverage in 2016 are at risk of having the coverage become unaffordable if the Republican Congress eliminates the premium tax credits.
Over 500 thousand children in Texas are at risk of having their coverage rolled back. And 205 thousand young people could lose coverage if the Republican Congress eliminates the provision in the law allowing children to stay on the parent’s plans until age 26.
The Congresswoman, quoted the words of Coretta Scott King, she said “The greatness of community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members…a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.” Congresswoman Lee said her fight to save the ACA is inspired by love.