Today the conservative pollster Rasmussen Reports found that 45 percent of respondents want to keep the Affordable Care Act. This is the highest percentage to support the law since it passed, which suggests efforts to explain the law’s benefits at the Democratic National Convention succeeded.
The best sign that ObamaCare is polling better is that Mitt Romney said that he would keep parts of the law in place if elected. His staff then revised the comment to make it consistent with Romney’s previous stand that he would try to replicate some of the goals of ObamaCare – just in ways that have never worked.
ObamaCare provisions like ending restrictions against patients with pre-existing conditions are extremely popular, because medical care is one thing all Americans know they’ll need — eventually. The provisions in the law not only make sense financially, they also save lives. According to a Harvard study conducted before ObamaCare became law, 45,000 Americans die every year for lack of insurance. Another study suggested that 85,000 lives could be saved (PDF) if disparities in health care were reduced.
Here are five ways the Affordable Care Act can be classified as “pro-life.”
A Record Drop In Uninsured Young People
In one year the percent of uninsured young Americans aged 19-25 dropped by a record six percent. These newly insured students are benefiting from the ObamaCare provision that allows those attending school to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of twenty-six.
The 1.6 million young people who have taken advantage of this benefit would immediately suffer if the law were repealed. Access to medical care is crucial to catching life-threatening illness before it becomes irreparable. It also lowers costs by keeping young people out of emergency rooms and creating a healthier population in general.
Photo credit: Shino
Ending The Annual and Lifetime Caps On Insurance Policies
Parents of sick children also have received immediate benefits from ObamaCare. Stacy Lihn, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, says the law has saved her daughter’s life. Her daughter Zoe was born with a heart defect that has already required three surgeries. Before ObamaCare, her insurance would have been capped. “There’s no way we could afford to pay for all of the care she needs to survive. When you have a sick child, it’s always in the back of your mind and sometimes, in the front of your mind. On top of that, worrying that people would let an insurance company take away her health care just because of politics?”
Photo credit: striatic
Tax Breaks For Small Businesses
ObamaCare gets more people covered by the employers using something Republicans normally love: tax breaks. Small business owners receive a 25 to 35 percent credit for the cost of health care coverage through 2013. After 2014, the tax credit will increase to 50 percent of premiums paid. These are workers who won’t have to choose between medical care and other essentials, making it less likely they’ll suffer illness that will prevent them from working and providing for their families.
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Ending Pre-existing Conditions For Children, Then Everyone
A child like Zoe Lihn could never get insurance after her three heart surgeries if her parents lost coverage. ObamaCare fixes that now. Adults with pre-existing conditions can get affordable insurance for the first time every thanks to temporary high-risk pools. And in 2014, no one will be denied health care because of a pre-existing condition. Even the most afflicted Americans will be able to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Photo credit: Frustrated Writer
No American Can Be Dropped From Their Insurance Because They Get Sick
Rescission is a dirty word. Because of this arcane loophole in the old law, insurance companies could suddenly rescind coverage when a policyholder got sick because he or she simply filled out paperwork incorrectly. The end of rescission – along with the provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on care – fundamentally changes the way care is given in this country. Saving money by denying services is no longer acceptable practice for insurance companies.
Now the incentive is to provide care. This prevents illness and saves lives.
Photo credit: Truthout.org