The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” brought many improvements to the way healthcare is reimbursed in the United States. It eliminated lifetime insurance caps under most policies, banned discrimination in insurance based on preexisting conditions, expanded Medicaid and other coverage options in many states, and allowed young people to stay on their parent’s insurance policies for longer periods of time. These reforms have been of immense benefit to people affected by hemophilia and other chronic, high-cost conditions.
The ACA, which for now is still in effect, has survived many attacks. Unfortunately, it is now being threatened like never before. You may have read that last December, a federal district court ruled in Texas v. United States that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional in its entirety. To make matters worse, on March 25, 2019, the Justice Department (DOJ) decided in an unusual measure that it would not defend the ACA, essentially taking the position that the entire law and all its provisions should be struck down.
So, what happens now? First, it is important to know that for now, the ACA and its provisions remain in effect. Your Obamacare or expanded Medicaid coverage (should you have one of those) will not just disappear tomorrow. Furthermore, new legislation has just been introduced in the House of Representatives to protect and even strengthen some of the main provisions of the ACA, including the preexisting conditions clause. Many national healthcare advocacy organizations have issued a joint statement in support of the legislation and in opposition to the Justice Department’s failure to act.
You can read the statement as it appears on the website of the American Heart Association:
26 Patient Groups Support Bill to Stabilize and Strengthen the Affordable Care Act
As the legislation progresses, there will be opportunities for you and members of your family to tell your own story and help get legislators on board. The Coalition for Hemophilia B will continue to update you on this critical situation and ask for your help at the right time. In the meanwhile, please check back at this webpage for more news about our “B Voice” advocacy program and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you for standing with us at this important time!