More of America’s Dads are healthier and happier, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. More of them have watched their kids play baseball or dance, walked their daughters and down the aisle and found comfort knowing that adult children entering a still-struggling workforce can stay on a parent’s health insurance until age 27.
Gary Hassay, a dad from Boardman, Ohio, said the ACA provided a life line to his family after his son, Garrett, was born three months pre-mature.
“I wasn’t expecting my wife to have an emergency C-section and I certainly was not expecting to know if either Garrett or my wife was going to survive,’’ Hassey said. ‘’I also didn’t have to worry about the cost of his care because the ACA made it illegal to use pre-mature birth as a pre-existing condition. And Garrett got the care he needed because he was not subject to annual caps which would have affected him at the time and could have affected him when he got older.’’
In honor of Father’s Day, a new study by the National Health Law Program highlights the ACA’s benefits to fathers. It found that the ACA has increased coverage for parents and children and given families more disposable income to spend on other necessities such as groceries.
“Let’s make sure this isn’t the last Father’s Day when dads don’t have to worry about their kids being unable to afford basic health care or denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition,” said Steve Wagner, executive director of UHCAN Ohio. “With a critical Senate vote coming soon, we must re-double efforts to keep our families happy and healthy.”
Across the state, fathers like Mitch Lerner of Granville are eager to learn details of the Senate’s health care plan which is being drafted in secret and could be rushed through without proper input from doctors, hospitals or patients.
Lerner described the ACA as “literally life saving for my family.’’ His three kids have juvenile diabetes – a pre-existing condition that would have made them nearly impossible to insure before the ACA.
His oldest daughter is 22, has a paid internship and gets health coverage through his plan. Lerner worries what will happen to all of his kids if the ACA replacement puts coverage out of their reach.
“I keep waiting for a plan,” Lerner said. “All I’m hearing is the ACA is going to be repealed. No one has ever sat down and said ‘this is how we’re going to make sure it still works for kids like yours.”
You can watch a video of Mitch talking about the ACA and how it helped his family here.
In addition to letting children stay on parents’ health care plans until age 27, the new study shows the ACA provides these benefits to Ohio dads:
- More are insured. Before the ACA, Medicaid coverage for Ohio’s dads was restricted to parents at or below 90 percent of the federal poverty level. Medicaid expansion extended coverage to more families, and the un-insurance rate of Ohio parents dropped from 10.3 to 6.5 percent;
- Health care is more affordable by requiring private health plans to provide coverage of preventive services without cost-sharing, and preventive care helps keep minor problems from becoming major ones;
- Family finances improved. Nearly 23 percent of Medicaid expansion enrollees said their Medicaid coverage made it easier to purchase food and more than half said that getting health coverage made it easier to find and keep a job.
On May 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) which repeals the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion for fathers and other adults and cuts federal Medicaid spending by $834 billion over 10 years. Recent polling shows the AHCA is not just unpopular nationally, it’s unpopular everywhere.
Although even President Trump, who lobbied for it and praised its passage, recently called it “mean,’’ Portman and his fellow Senate GOP colleagues refuse to characterize it it in the same way – or show us what’s in their plan.