Everyone deserves to see a doctor when they need to

GIVE THE GIFT OF ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE: Health care 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. Photo courtesy of Children First/ Communities In Schools of Buncombe County

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 gifts and toys 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 health care coverage for children, there are still 119,600 children who remain uninsured. That is the total populations of Asheville, Hendersonville and Lexington, N.C., 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 provides coverage for millions of Americans, which has the positive ripple effect of parents signing their children up for health care 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 percent are receiving financial assistance.

Health care 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,” she says. “Once I was able to get health care coverage again, I was able to stay on my medication and raise her with very few setbacks.”

What can you do?

Although President-elect Trump has vowed to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, we must be aware that it is not solely in his power to do so. Congress is responsible for writing the language of any new legislation, including any changes to the Affordable Care Act, and the bill will need to pass with a majority vote through both houses of Congress before going to the president for a signature.

Take Action: 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. Sign this petition to Sen. Thom Tillis, Sen. Richard Burr, Rep. Patrick McHenry and Rep. Mark Meadows at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/support-access-to-healthcare-for-everyone?source=direct_link&.

Let’s make the holidays a time when every family can celebrate being together, free from the worry of how to get the health care they need. Because everyone deserves to see a doctor when they need to.

Jodi Ford is the outreach and engagement coordinator for Children First/ Communities In Schools of Buncombe County, a local nonprofit that believes all children deserve to reach their full potential. The organization helps achieve this by surrounding children and their families with supports that help them succeed in their schools, communities and homes. Whether that’s providing a food box, tutoring in school and after school, getting school supplies, teaching parenting skills or helping families meet basic needs, the nonprofit is there. Along with direct services, the organization advocates for policies that support families with local and state policymakers. To find out more, go to www.childrenfirstcisbc.org.


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24 thoughts on “Everyone deserves to see a doctor when they need to

    • luther blissett

      I recommend not getting sick when timpecks and GOPers are in power.

        • Huhsure

          Not a change of subject, Tim, a relevant point.

          Your side is set to, with the stroke of a pen, take health insurance away from millions of people, and not provide any viable alternative. Tom Price’s “plan” is nothing but a sop to the health insurance companies. I’d call it a boondoggle, but swindle is a better term.

          No mandate requiring the healthiest to have insurance, so costs will rise as they leave the system. A cap on the tax credit at the average cost of a plan amounts to a giant tax increase. Allowing plans to cross state lines allows them to limit coverage to the lowest common denominator state with the least regulations. No regulation against cherrypicking the healthiest from those who still want insurance (at the expense of those with preexisting conditions.) Shunting the leas-healthy into state-owned high risk pools that have a history of being unable to cover the individuals that need them due to the excessive cost from the lack of healthy individuals in the pool.

          All this from the mind of the hypocrite who said he doesn’t want Congress defining what insurance is. The guy who signed the bill that created HSAs.

          Price’s plan was a non-starter back when it was first announced, and it will lead to higher taxes, worse coverage, and fewer people insured. Like every aspect of Trump’s latent administration, it’s nothing but a con. There’s not an ounce of good faith in it.

          • I disagree with your mischaracterization. Actually, anything would be an improvement on the Obamacare fraud.

          • Huhsure

            Mischaracterization! Sounds like a con-man go caught in his con. “It’s so UNFAIR! You’re treating us like criminals!” Wait ’til millions find out your side just conned them into paying more for healthcare. And millions more find out you conned them into losing health care entirely. In fact, they’re already starting to wise up.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            I crack up every time I hear someone say that healthcare became more affordable under Obamacare. For destitute and unhealthy people maybe, but for most people it skyrocketed.

          • Huhsure

            “Most people”. Nonsense. My company’s has gone up less than it did pre-Obamacare. Where it did go up significantly was mainly in the states that didn’t implement the Medicaid plan, out of spite.

            But keep spinning, if it makes you feel good.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            But it was not any state’s responsibility to expand Medicaid. A fatal flaw of Obamacare. Can’t pass off onto states its failures.

          • Huhsure

            Not their responsibility? Not their responsibility?!

            It is absolutely their responsibility. Now, whether they DO it or not, is up to them. But the onus was on them to do it. They did not. It’s not a flaw in OCare. The flaw is expecting Republican administrations to act in good faith and implement it. And surprisingly most did — begrudgingly, eventually — because it saved them money, and it provided essential care to their neediest citizens.

            Those states (19 at last count) that didn’t then ended up with the situation where those people instead have to purchase insurance directly, putting more unhealthy people into the system, causing a spike in costs.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Democrats reason like this and then wonder why they lost the election.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            It’s like a son telling his dad that he has a great business plan, but it needs his dad’s resources to work. Dad says, no, it’s a bad plan. Kid goes ahead anyways convincing himself that dad will have no choice but to change his mind. Dad doesn’t and it fails. Then kid blames dad for his failure.

            The fact is the Dems gambled hard and lost bad.

          • Huhsure

            Of course you would see it that way.

            The citizens of the Republican states lost bad, not “the Dems.”

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            I think that this kind of denial is so entrenched that it will persist for years. That is good.

          • Huhsure

            The hate runs deep on your side of the aisle. Your side has nothing positive or affirming to bring to the table. Thanks for nothing.

    • Congress returns to work, hot to repeal Obamacare

      “The new Congress convenes on Tuesday, and almost immediately Republicans are going to get the ball rolling on repealing the Affordable Care Act – eager to make headway even before President Trump takes office.”

      • boatrocker

        I can’t wait to read up on the GOP’s alternative to the Affordable Health Care Act, as they have only been teasing us with their
        ‘better’ plan for oh 6 years.

        Please post a link to the better plan. I await on pins and needles.

  1. boatrocker

    Instead of shrieking like a toddler about Obama, Hillary, Benghazi, etc, I would challenge all the altright or bust posters to elucidate their beliefs as to how children of ‘them’ in this country do not deserve quality medical care. That should be fun. Throw a Bible verse in there, a website link to Breitbart, whatever it takes.

  2. Alan Ditmore

    I do believe in material rights like the right to a home, but homes have existed for thousands of years where these medical rights advocates are claiming rights to things that were just invented! Where was my grandfather’s right to an MRI? and if he had no such right because they didn’t exist, why should the right be created with the product? that I do not get. Modern medicine is just to high tech for universal access. A roof sure, but even indoor plumbing and electric light are questionably modern to be a right. And Asheville is getting farther and farther from a right to a roof, which the Romans had 2000 years ago!

  3. Alan Ditmore

    In addition, subsidized maternity care encourages octomom’s thus destroying the planet. Abortions should be subsidized instead, which Obamacare doesn’t do, so that’s two strikes against Obamacare. A woman’s choice includes the cost of maternity care, if this cost is excluded, the choice is fake.

    • boatrocker

      ‘Encourages octomoms’? Yea, every female I know just can’t wait to carry and give birth to 8 kids.
      I think it’s like the Subway sandwich offer- they get their card stamped at the hospital and on their 8th kid they get a free sandwich.
      At least when you say abortion should be subsidized, I’m assuming you mean it should remain legal too?

      Howz about an easier solution? Quit teaching abstinence only to kids, allow better access to birth control and encourage the religious nutcases to get over their obsession and demonization of premarital (the s-e-x word).

      As for any other medical services for Americans, well, call me naive, but I always thought that having the label ‘the greatest country on earth’ implied that also applied to medical care, but yet again conservatives prove me wrong by only focusing on $ and not the health of its citizens. I guess only ‘them that gots’ deserve quality medical care.

      • Alan Ditmore

        DUH! abortion is already legal, and subsidized in some cities, so assuming abortion should be legal is like assuming water should be wet.

        • boatrocker

          Funny, my response to your comment has yet to be published.
          I asked if you were cool with abortion being legal or not, as you don’t seem to flood this comment board with lols, LULZs or similar loony stuff
          (thankfully) as that was not clear.

          But hey, moderators always know best.

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