America took an awesome step forward today with President Obama’s signature on the Affordable Health Care for America Act. There are many immediate and near immediate benefits of this legislation, which include:
– Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
– Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
– Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;
– Lower seniors prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole;
– Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
– Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;
– Require plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
– Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
– Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
– Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.
The first of these benefits is of particular and personal importance to me. You see, my daughter, Elle, was born with hypoplastic right heart syndrome. She had her first open-heart surgery when she was two days old. She has had two subsequent open-heart surgeries, a brain surgery, and tests and procedures too numerous to recount. Her pre-existing condition was first identified when she was just five months in the womb.
Today, due to the courage of the Democratic majorities in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate and the leadership of President Obama, my daughter will no longer be a second-class citizen due to her pre-existing condition.
I thank the Democratic members of the Democratic Party who voted on behalf of my daughter and so many of our fellow citizens. Nothing would have made me prouder than to have been there with them on Sunday night. You can help me in my fight to return representative democracy to Florida’s 12th Congressional District by contributing here. www.teamtudor.org
By the way, you would never know that Elle has any health issues. She is an intelligent, engaging, active, and beautiful nine-year-old. Oh, and sometimes she is bratty – just like every other nine-year-old.
Your Brother, Doug