Everyone Deserves to See a Doctor When They Need To
Children thrive when their family is healthy, stable, and secure. When parents are able to have access to healthcare, this shapes the health and well-being of their children as well. The holidays are a particularly special time for many families. It is a time to celebrate, to share traditions that have been passed down from generations, and to feel connected to each other in their own unique way.
But the holidays can also be a time of additional stress for families who are living with little to no margins of income. For these families, it is difficult to make sure their basic expenses are covered, with little to no room for additional expenses. These parents are not thinking about the gifts and toys they will be buying for their children during the holidays, they just want to make sure they can take them to the doctor if they are sick.
Research has shown that when parents receive affordable health coverage, they are more likely to sign their children up for coverage as well, thus ensuring the health of the entire family. But when North Carolina’s legislators declined to expand health coverage for adults under the Affordable Care Act, that left 500,000 of our North Carolina friends and neighbors in the coverage gap — at risk of going untreated for preventative and serious health threats because they can’t afford care. One medical bill could put the family into bankruptcy.
While North Carolina has made huge gains in providing healthcare coverage for children, there are still 119,600 children who remain uninsured. That is the total populations of Asheville, Hendersonville and Lexington North Carolina combined. When children are uninsured, they have unmet physical and mental health needs and are more at risk to fall behind developmentally. This makes it difficult for them to catch up with their peers physically, socially and academically. Healthy children typically grow to be healthy adults.
The Affordable Care Act
Currently, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides coverage for millions of Americans, which has the positive ripple effect of parents signing their children up for healthcare as well. Under the ACA, if your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. Thanks to this provision, over 2.3 million young people who would otherwise have been uninsured have gained coverage nationwide.
President-elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which leaves 613,000 North Carolinians insured through the ACA facing an uncertain future. Of that number, close to 90% are receiving financial assistance.
Healthcare coverage is especially crucial for parents, for when their health and well- being are secure, they are able to be better caregivers for their children. Brittany is the mother of a bubbly 8-year old daughter. “When I didn’t have my medicine, it made my life very difficult. Once I was able to get healthcare coverage again I was able to stay on my medication and raise her with very few setbacks.”
What Can You Do?
Now is the time to let your representatives know that you believe that everyone deserves access to healthcare. When everyone can see a doctor or get preventative care we have a stronger economy, healthier communities and stable families. Let your NC Congressional leaders Senator Thom Tillis, Senator Richard Burr, Representative Patrick McHenry and Representative Mark Meadows know that you believe that everyone has the right to have access to affordable healthcare.
Let’s make the holidays a time when every family can celebrate being together, free from the worry of how to get the healthcare they need. Because everyone deserves to see a doctor when they need to.