The Affordable Act turns two

Published in the Nurse Alliance Roundup for March 22, 2012

BY Jennifer Stange

Jennifer (Jen) Stange, our National Nurse Alliance Interim Coordinator has tirelessly worked on informing, mobilizing and organizing all of us around the Affordable Care Act. This piece is her latest on the issue for the RoundUp.

March 23rd marks the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act becoming law. The law makes healthcare more secure by ensuring families can’t be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or lose their coverage or be forced into bankruptcy when someone gets sick. It requires members of Congress to get healthcare coverage from the same plans as millions of Americans. But some want to refight old political battles so they can put the insurance companies back in charge and take away the law’s protections that are already benefiting millions of our patients. The working women and men of SEIU fought for more than a decade to achieve more affordable, secure healthcare and better health for our patients, our communities, our colleagues, our families and ourselves. As the most trusted voice in healthcare, SEIU nurses were critical to the passage of the law. When the Supreme Court holds its historic three days of hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature achievement, on March 26-28, SEIU nurses will once again have a chance to stand up, speak out and protect our hard won victory.

SEIU nurses will join several fun and important days of action in front of the Supreme Court, including a press conference on Monday, March 25 featuring nurses and other healthcare providers, a celebration of the law with SEIU and healthcare allies on Tuesday, March 26, and a press conference on Wednesday, March 28 featuring Medicaid advocates.

The Tea Party and those who would end this historic gain for working people will be there and SEIU and our progressive allies will be outside the Supreme Court to tell the country, the media, and the Court how millions of Americans are already benefiting from the law. Nurses know our country shouldn’t be a place where patients delay treatment, don’t know how to access care or have lives that are shorter and sicker because they don’t have healthcare. For the 99%, access to quality, affordable healthcare is a matter of life and death. The 1% live almost five years longer than the 99%, and extremists are doubling down to make sure that trend continues through their efforts to eliminate the President’s Affordable Care Act and their drastic proposals to cut healthcare funding, including state budgets, Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

For more information about how the Affordable Care Act is benefiting working families or to get involved in the fight to protect it please visit: http://www.seiu.org/the-healthcare-law or contact me at jennifer.stange@seiu.org. To hear from SEIU members this week, including nurses, about how the law is helping people, visit SEIU’s blog.

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