Blog Post by Robert K. Ross, M.D.
President and CEO, The California Endowment
October 1, 2013
Today is a day for the history books. Obamacare enrollment has arrived, and millions of uninsured Americans will have access to affordable, quality health care.
There are still voices in Washington fighting to take that away, but we are ready to take them head on and do our part to realize the promise of Obamacare for every American who stands to gain from the law.
Ajay Lawson, a 20 year-old student with asthma, is one of those Americans. Even though Ajay is relatively young and healthy, she still has medical needs due to her condition. And every time she has complications, she tries to avoid going doctor (or worse, the emergency room), because she can’t afford to pay.
Like millions of uninsured Americans, Ajay tries to avoid the doctor when she’s sick. Today, for many of those Americans, things are going to change.
In California, nearly 1.7 million lower-income Californians will gain access to Medi-Cal, where they can get low- to no-cost health coverage. Another 2.6 million Californians will be eligible for financial help to purchase private health insurance through our state’s marketplace, Covered California. And millions more will benefit from consumer protections that ban discrimination because of pre-existing conditions and eliminate yearly limits on coverage.
California has led the way in implementing these changes, and today, we’re ready to hit the ground running. That’s why I want to put yesterday’s debates aside and focus on what truly matters: getting Californians covered.
Obamacare is putting health coverage within reach for people who can’t afford it. Now, it’s up to us to get informed, get enrolled, and get covered. Almost everyone knows someone who needs insurance. And for the promise of Obamacare to succeed, everyone needs to do their part to reach every eligible person who can benefit.
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