President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act two years ago to make sure that millions of Americans could access the quality health care services they need and deserve. Mitt Romney, however, has promised to repeal these health reforms:
“If elected, I will repeal Obamacare.”
Health reform makes sure that crucial, basic health care services that prevent long-term health issues are readily available for Americans of any age without paying out of pocket. Take a look at how Romney’s repeal would jeopardize preventive health care for millions of Americans.
Before health reform
Insurance companies did not have to provide coverage for preventive services, so millions of Americans had to pay for preventive health care services ranging from flu shots and cancer screenings to blood pressure tests and immunizations.
Medicare charged a co-pay for many preventive services, and did not provide any coverage at all for annual check-ups.
With the health care law
Now, “financial barriers to preventive care will be a thing of the past.” Insurance companies are required to provide coverage for and eliminate cost-sharing on several preventive health services, and Medicare coverage for prevention has been expanded.
For children, services that are now available free of charge include regular checkups, vision and hearing screening, and immunizations. For women, coverage includes mammograms, colon cancer screenings, HPV vaccinations, flu shots, blood pressure screening, STD and HIV testing. For men, coverage includes colon cancer screenings, blood pressure screening, STD and HIV testing, and flu shots, among other services.
Who would Romney’s repeal hurt?
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 54 million additional Americans now have access to expanded preventive services—and an estimated 32.5 million Medicare beneficiaries—have benefited from the law’s expansion of free preventive service coverage in 2011. If Romney gets his way, Americans like Judy Smith from New Mexico might not get the preventive care they need that could save their lives.
Judy’s family has a history of breast cancer, so she made sure to get regular mammograms. But since retirement, Judy is on a fixed income and was concerned that she’d have to skip mammogram tests because she could not afford them. Thanks to health reform, mammograms are free of charge and, because she got tested regularly, doctors caught her cancer early.
“I’m afraid if I had waited another year or two, the tumor would have been bigger and the treatment would have been much more drastic and severe. My life has been saved by the Affordable Care Act,” she said. Take a look at Judy’s story, and then share it with your friends.