Six years ago, there was a crisis of epic proportions facing the United States. In 2009, 45 million Americans at any given time were deprived of basic health insurance. There was a lack of comprehensive and meaningful health care reform at the national level.
CHRISTUS Health has always believed that affordable and accessible health care for all is a cornerstone of a prosperous nation, and access to affordable health care is a basic human right. The values guiding Catholic health care echo in the beliefs of many faith communities across this nation and made for a strong moral case for true health care reform.
That reform happened on March 23, 2010. That’s when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Since the ACA became law, 20 million Americans have gained health insurance and America’s uninsured rate is at the lowest point ever recorded, with almost 9 out of 10 non-elderly adult Americans now insured.
Millions more already-insured Americans now have better coverage because women are no longer charged more than men for their premiums, those with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage, and young adults are guaranteed to stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26.
Additionally, the uninsured rate has decreased by 11 percent among both Latino and African-American 18-64 years old since the law went into effect.
High quality health care should be available and accessible to everyone. It is part of our mission. The Affordable Care Act ushered in a new era where health care is within reach for everyone.