On its tenth anniversary, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is helping our state provide health care during a pandemic.
Being at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic shows how critical it is for Washington State to have a strong health system. A virus does not discriminate, and we need everyone, regardless of their income, to be able to access health care to keep us all safe.
Passed by Congress 10 years ago this week, the ACA has helped 600,000 uninsured Washingtonians get health coverage and care.
This important achievement:
★Expanded Medicaid and helped states pay for its implementation
★Enabled children up to age 26 to be covered on their parents’ plans
★Eliminated the practice of denying benefits for pre-existing conditions
★Abolished the lifetime limit on medical costs, previously standard practice for insurers.
★Increased funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment
★Enabled rural hospitals to stay open through the expansion of Medicaid
Unfortunately, the ACA has been under attack for the past several years. Federal threats to weaken it put millions of people at risk of losing access to health care. But the fact is that people depend on coverage provided by the ACA. Global health care emergencies such as the coronavirus show how much our health is connected to everyone around us.
Health Care for All-Washington will continue to work and fight for a truly universal health care system in the U.S. Restoring and strengthening the ACA is our best option to provide coverage to all in the meantime. As one of our members has said: ”The ACA is the only way I have insurance at all.“