On Monday, March 26, CIR members joined a coalition of healthcare providers across the country celebrating the second anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As the Supreme Court began to hear three days of oral arguments challenging the constitutionality of the legislation, CIR physicians rallied outside of the court in support of making healthcare coverage more secure for working families.
Physicians, nurses and patients explained the way the law is already working. More than 86 million people received free preventative care in 2011, including mammograms and colonoscopies, and 2.5 million adults are newly insured because of the law, including young adults who can now stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. Once the provision preventing insurance companies from denying coverage for people with pre-existing conditions is implemented, more than 129 million Americans will be affected.
CIR Advocates for the Affordable Care Act Across the County
CIR members rallied across the country to show their support for healthcare reform. In Albuquerque, Dr. Mariam Salas, CIR delegate and internal medicine resident at the University of New Mexico Medical Center, spoke on how the legislation has improved healthcare accessibility for New Mexicans. Hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans are already benefitting from the Affordable Care Act.
In New York City, Dr. Katrina John, CIR Regional Vice President and emergency medicine resident at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, spoke powerfully about the benefits of expanding Medicaid eligibility. The coverage keeps patients healthy and out of the emergency room, saving lives and money in the process. Getting rid of it, Dr. John said, would be immediately devastating to hospitals.
At the steps of the Supreme Court, CIR joined hundreds of demonstrators in Washington, D.C. to tell their stories about how healthcare reform has affected them and their patients. Dr. Jennifer Platt, CIR Regional Vice President and psychiatry resident at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, told a reporter from the Houston Chronicle about her experience in New Jersey and the closure of more than 25 hospitals in the past two decades. The Affordable Care Act will make sure that care is compensated, Dr. Platt said–and will create a more sustainable healthcare system.
Dr. Robert Kennedy Jr., an internal medicine resident at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, told the Associated Press about an experience with an uninsured patient who worried about the cost of care and delayed going to the hospital for pneumonia until it became difficult for him to breathe.
On March 21, CIR co-sponsored an event in Boston featuring Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Regina Benjamin, which focused on the National Prevention Strategy (NPS). As part of the Affordable Care Act, the goal of NPS is to improve the health of Americans at all stages in life. Dr. Benjamin spoke to the Massachusetts healthcare community on the unique role that healthcare professionals can play in leading this critical shift toward a prevention-based society.
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit http://www.cirseiu.org/what-we-do/advocacy/health-care-reform/.