You may have heard that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States yesterday.
That’s an understatement compared to the avalanche of media coverage on this subject just since the ruling was handed down. Let me add a couple of things, and then we can all breathe and relax for the weekend.
- Despite how you may feel about the reach of our government, the law still has some provisions that mean a lot to People With Diabetes (PWDs) and parents of Children With Diabetes (CWDs). If you’re a parent, you can cover your child up to age 26, whether or not they live with you, whether or not they have other coverage available. So if your coverage is better than their coverage at work, they can stay on your plan up to age 26. For adults beyond 26, it means an end to insurance companies, employers, and labor unions denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions like diabetes (in 2014… let’s hope we don’t get sick before then). And yes, I have had to make a decision not to take a job because my pre-existing condition would not be covered.
- The law stands today, thanks in part to the Supreme Court’s decision. But if the republicans take congress and the White House in the November elections, the law will be repealed. All of it. All of the good parts and bad parts of the legislation gone. Back to square one. I’m not making a political statement. I’m proud to be politically independent. I’ve voted for republicans and democrats over the years. I’m also repeating what I’ve heard many times from many republican candidates.
- Assuming the law stays, don’t expect it to remain in its current state in perpetuity (like that big word?). Like almost all federal laws, it will change over time. Often with the political landscape. Provisions will be added, and new challenges will be brought before the court, and after those decisions, more tweaks will be made to the law. If it holds, this law will look different 10 years from now, and still different 20 years from now, and different again 30 years from now. So let’s not get so hyped up over what this means over the next four plus months until the election.
I just hope I’m still around in 30 years. And regardless of whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare, if you like) is still here then or not, I really hope that our citizens can get the care they need, when they need it, without a lot of bickering and hatred. Just because it’s right. For everyone. No exceptions.
I think that’s something we can all agree on.