Power Grid Blog
Mark's Weekly Message
June 29, 2012 | Mark Perriello
A victory for everyone!
In the weeks leading up to yesterday’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pundits preoccupied themselves with analyzing what the decision might mean for the presidential campaigns, for Congress, for insurers, and occasionally—and I mean occasionally—for the average American. By yesterday morning, the conversation had reached a fever pitch. Protestors waited outside the Supreme Court carrying signs. Talking heads talked.
Over here at AAPD’s office, it was quiet. Staff and interns huddled over our computers, hitting “refresh” every few seconds. Some of us hovered by our health care policy advisor’s doorway, hoping to get his expert opinion as soon as possible.
But then when the opinion came down, we cheered. Not just because AAPD had signed a Supreme Court brief arguing in support of this important law, which was mentioned twice in the concurring opinion. Not just because the Court accepted our policy position.
We cheered because we won in a much more important way —as people and as a nation.
We applauded the decision as real human beings whose lives are better because of the ACA. Because the ACA remains the law, insurance companies cannot discriminate against people with disabilities just because we have a pre-existing condition. AAPD’s interns, several of whom are college students, now know that they can be covered under their parents’ insurance plans until age 26. Our female staff will not pay higher premiums just because they are women and will have vital preventive care services covered.
The ACA affected everyone in this office on a personal level, but not just because many of us have disabilities. I believe that we are representative of this nation as a whole. Millions of people are better off because of the protections that the ACA provides.
Perhaps even more importantly, thanks to the ACA, we will be a fairer, healthier nation. The ACA says that in America, no one will have to choose between paying their mortgage and paying for their child’s surgeries. It says that in America, we don’t discriminate against people who have a disability or a chronic illness. It says that in America, health care is a right, not a privilege.
This is a victory for everyone.
Have a wonderful July 4th.