On the Anniversary of the ACA: A Family Perspective on What It Means for Kids – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

As communities across the nation celebrate the one-year
anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, CCF marked the event in its traditional
style – by issuing an issue brief. 
It has the facts about how the Affordable Care Act will affect children,
but also stories from families whose children have personally been touched by
the new law or stand to benefit from it when the law is fully implemented in

We would like to introduce you to a couple of the moms
that we talked to when putting together this new brief:

First, we head to Oregon to meet Cynthia Johnson who we
met through our friends at Moms Rising  Her story underscores the important role that Medicaid and CHIP play in
covering children – especially during turbulent economic times. Cynthia’s
husband was laid off from his IT job when she was seven months pregnant, but
she was able to enroll her newborn son in CHIP. When her husband secured a
job a few years later, the minimal employer plan capped the amount of expenses
it would cover at $600 per patient and did not cover her son’s speech therapy,
occupational therapy, and other services essential to his development. When her
son was seven years old, Cynthia heard that Oregon’s CHIP program had expanded
so she re-applied and her son was enrolled. Now he has high-quality,
affordable health care coverage that allows him to resume the speech therapy
and OT he needs. “We are grateful that the CHIP reauthorization and the
Affordable Care Act were passed so that our son can once again resume his
necessary therapies which we were unable to obtain for him for the last
couple of years while he was on our inadequate private health insurance plan.”
said Cynthia.

Next, we head to Illinois to meet a member of the Family
Voices network, Angela Chicoine, who lost her husband a couple of years
ago. While helping her three children cope with the loss, Angela also had
to figure out how to make ends meet and how to continue to meet their health
care needs. When her twins were born, one of them, Emily, stopped
breathing and is now a quadriplegic and has been diagnosed with a seizure
condition, cerebral palsy, and other disorders. Emily is only ten years
old has already come close to hitting a lifetime cap on one health insurance
policy. The family is currently paying for COBRA coverage which will expire in August. While Angela is searching for affordable health insurance for her
family, she can now rest easier knowing that in the future, Emily’s care will
no longer be subject to a lifetime cap.

As some Members of Congress celebrate and others try to
re-debate the Affordable Care Act, it’s moms like Angela and Cynthia that keep
me working hard to make sure we do right by our kids and don’t turn back the
clock on the progress we’ve made. 

Please read the full report on our website and more stories from our friends at Family Voices, California’s 100% Campaign and Mom’s Rising.  Special thanks to Donna Norton at Mom’s Rising, Kristen Thompson, Suzie Shupe and Michael Odeh with the 100% Campaign and Brooke Lehmann at Family Voices for putting us in touch with the families whose stories are told in the report.

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