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Healthcare Reform An Even Bigger Victory for Long Island Than You Thought

Just a few years before the Affordable Care Act was passed, researchers at Adelphi University's School of Nursing found that over 16% of Long Islanders had no health insurance whatsoever.

Long Islanders have a good reason to celebrate: the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the most important aspects of the Affordable Care Act(ACA).

While the language of the Court's opinion can be a little tough to get through (see scotusblog.com for more information), the victory is that the majority of the justices decided that the government could compel all Americans to buy insurance by 2014. Their main point of contention was that rather an "individual mandate" to buy insurance, the court is interpreting this as a tax, which they agree is within the power of the Congress to draft.

Back in March, LIPC led a group of Long Islanders in wishing a "Happy Birthday" to ACA on its second anniversary, even handing out cake to college students who are recieving some of the first benefits of the law. We knew that it was going to be a struggle to preserve affordable health care, but with todays decision, everyone's hard work has paid off.

Just a few years before ACA was passed, researchers at Adelphi University's School of Nursing found that over 16% of Long Islanders had no health insurance whatsoever. These are regular folks like yourself, but who don't have the money to buy expensive individual insurance, and fall through the cracks of Medicaid. These are the people that the Supreme Court has supported today, giving them hope that they won't have to choose between bankruptcy and healthcare. But this isn't just a Long Island victory; it's a victory across the state.

The decision is a victory for the 150,000 young adults in New York who now can get coverage by staying on their parent’s plans due to the so called “under 26 provision.” Young adults will be protected as they go to graduate school, struggle with unemployment after college or struggle to make ends meet with a job that doesn’t provide health coverage. Many more will benefit in the future.

It’s a victory for the millions of New Yorkers who won’t have to have second thoughts about going to the doctor to get services like blood pressure testing and cholesterol screening, because the law prohibits consumers from being charged for preventive services. It’s a victory for millions of New Yorkers who will no longer have to worry about economic ruin if they get serious conditions like cancer because the law stops insurance companies from establishing so called “lifetime limits” on how much their health insurer will pay for their disease or illness.

And, it’s a victory for all New Yorkers, because New York can move forward with its plans to create a health insurance exchange – a Costco’s or Sam’s Club for health insurance. The exchange will provide quality health coverage to well over a million individuals: allowing individuals to save over two-thirds of their health premiums. And the exchange will help you pick out the health insurance plan that meets your needs, and protect you against insurance company bureaucrats that seek to deny you care just because it’s good for their bottom line.

The battle isn't over yet, though, and Long Islanders who are interested in finding new ways to support the Affordable Care Act should contact us at the Long Island Progressive Coalition, at administration@lipc.org or 516.541.1006.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Happy Feet July 12, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Nassau Taxpayer, thanks for the correction of a poor choice of words on my part. Yes, under the Affordable Care Act, now insurance companies will be REQUIRED in ALL states to pay a minimum of 80% of premiums on actual health care (the 80/20 rule). If they don't, they will have to give a refund to their clients. You are also correct in stating that without this mandate, insurance companies would deny even more claims and make their CEO's salary & benefits even greater.
Eva Salzman July 12, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Wow, this thread is still running. Can't agree more Mary Beth about sane comments from A.F., John Gruber and others too here I can recall. And good point about how adding 30 million people to rolls of private insurers can be called "socialism". But a lot of that argument seems to be underpinned by racism, that there's this huge amount of immigrants free-loading with it conveniently forgotten that around here a lot of the agricultural business depends on cheap labor which immigrants will do....which brings us round to issues of fair pay and minimum wage which I guess some see as "leftie" issues which they're not! And the biggest free-loaders seem to be the bankers and corporations who are meant to generate jobs thanks to tax breaks but after ten years of these where are the jobs? !
Eva Salzman July 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Okay everyone here's a quiz about Affordable Health Care act to stop all misinformation! How'd you do? http://healthreform.kff.org/quizzes/health-reform-quiz/
Eva Salzman July 13, 2012 at 03:12 PM
And here's FOX business. IS this very same Fox news?! (Have been out of country for many years....) Anyway, the heading of the article is something about "surprising" perks which is odd since these aren't surprising to to anyone who's followed what the new law entails. Certainly shouldn't be surprising to FOX as a supposedly a leading news source, right? http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/07/06/affordable-care-act-what-dont-know-could-help/
Sharon Culit July 31, 2012 at 09:43 AM
Still, despite our healthcare reform, we should do our best to take care of ourselves. In order to do this, we need to work out ourselves and use an adequate trainer like the TRX which is available at www.trxtraining.com or www.traineroutlet.com.

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