Sunday, October 14, 2012

Advocates Agree: Health Care Law is Good for People with Disabilities

No presidential election comes down to one issue, but you could argue that the choice between President Obama and Governor Romney comes down to two -- the economy and health care. Obama supporters will tell you that the president inherited a big mess, and the economy is showing signs of improvement as a result of his actions. Romney supporters will say we're on the wrong path and need a business leader like Romney to set a new direction.
For health care, Obama supporters will tell you that health care reform is a major success because it guarantees coverage that can't be taken away, even for people with pre-existing conditions. Romney, on the other hand, has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act on his first day in office.

While others will debate those topics, my focus is whether the president's version of health care reform helps or hurts people with disabilities. The consistency of views among major disability organizations is revealing. As nonprofits, these groups do not endorse candidates, but listen to what they had to say when the Supreme Court upheld major portions of the legislation in June 2012. (Links are to more complete statements.)
“People with disabilities and their families have their lives dictated by the status of their health insurance. The Supreme Court’s ruling today tells these families they can make decisions about what is best for them as a family, and not be controlled by fear of losing health insurance coverage.” --Katy Neas, senior vice president of government relations at Easter Seals
“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been waiting for generations for the insurance reforms put in place by the Affordable Care Act.  Today’s ruling removes any doubts that the law Congress enacted should stand and will benefit millions of people with and without disabilities. It ends discriminatory insurance practices and makes health coverage more affordable and accessible – important protections which too many people with disabilities have been deprived of for too long." --Marty Ford, director of public policy, The Arc
“Today’s court decision will ensure that health insurance companies cannot deny coverage based on preexisting conditions or discriminate based on an individual’s health status. This is the essence of why the disability community supported the ACA and we are thrilled that the Supreme Court decision protects these reforms that are at the heart of health reform efforts.” --Donna Meltzer, Chair, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
“This decision is a victory for all Americans. It means parents of a child with cancer won’t face bankruptcy paying for his treatments because of the insurance company’s lifetime cap. It means a woman with Multiple Sclerosis will receive the same health coverage as her colleagues who do not have a pre-existing condition. It means more people with disabilities will be able to live full lives in our communities rather than nursing homes.” --Mark Perriello, President and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities
 "For millions of Americans with disabilities who rely on home and community-based services to live, learn, and earn in America, the ruling today by the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act is arguably the most significant decision since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act 22 years ago.” --Jonathan Young, chair of the National Council on Disability
For more information:
"Top Reasons Why The Arc Supports the Affordable Care Act"
"Health Care Ruling A Win, Disability Advocates Say," by Michelle Diament of Disability Scoop.

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