Disability, General

Thankful for Access to Healthcare

November 25, 2015 • By

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Last Updated: November 25, 2015

boyfriend and girlfriend smiling

Thanksgiving is the time we reflect on what we’re thankful for. As it happens, this is also open enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act. Embracing the spirit of both events, I’m thankful for access to quality, affordable healthcare and for my son’s health.

At age 22 and recently out of college, my son became critically ill. Having to undergo major abdominal surgery, fortunately he had health coverage. If he were uncovered, he would not have been able to cover the $10,000 in medical bills on his own. Early on, the State of Maryland adopted legislation that allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26. It’s a blessing our family is still grateful for. Since its passage, the Affordable Care Act made it mandatory for all states to adopt this provision, allowing young people, like my son, to have affordable healthcare.

Healthcare access is important for everyone. Life can change in the blink of an eye. While most people don’t like to think about it, disability can happen to anyone, at any time. In fact, 1-in-4 young people in their 20s will become disabled before reaching retirement age. Another issue that negatively impacts uninsured young adults is unpaid medical debt, which is the largest contributing factor to negative credit reports. Don’t run the risk of accruing significant medical debt and ruining your credit. Through the Affordable Care Act, you now have the ability to get affordable coverage. In fact, 8 out of 10 individuals potentially qualify for financial assistance. So, don’t take the risk of remaining uncovered.

If you are in need of health coverage or know someone who needs health coverage, I encourage you to visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 for more information. Access to quality healthcare has a positive impact on health outcomes. #GetCovered for your sake and your parents’ as well, they will be thankful.

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About the Author

Stacy Rodgers, Chief of Staff, Social Security Administration

Stacy Rodgers, Chief of Staff, Social Security Administration


  1. Gerard B.

    Are there Medicare benefits for new eyeglasses paid by Medicare after cataract surgery?
    If so how do I access them?

  2. Scott. D.

    I. Don’t. Won’t. Health insurance. Any. More. I. Don’t. Like. Ahcccs. And. Mercy. Care. Plan. I. Don’t. Need. Health. Insurance

  3. Tabi A.

    I hate social leeches.

  4. Sophia

    It is great that there is access to affordable healthcare for people who would not otherwise have been able to get it, but of course you do need to know where to look – it is not enough to hope that somehow you will be on the best plan for your needs and your budget. It says it all here https://www.healthcare.gov/get-answers/ , everything you need to know to research the best healthcare plan for you.

  5. lens a.

    Why this website do not have other languages?


  6. kontakt l.

    Why this website don’t have different languages support?


  7. Rusty

    What I see is that my family insurance went up 28% and I’m not eligible for financial assistance.

    I went here- https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/#/aptc

    I have a family of 4, will make $80,000 this year, our insurance went up 28% and per the healthcare.gov website I’m not eligible for any tax credits or savings.

    So in a nutshell, I’ll have to pay more and 8 out of 10 people are eligible for “financial assistance”.

    I’m supposed to be thankful for this?

    It feels as if the federal government passed a law that makes it impossible for insurance companies to be profitable forcing them to raise rates and eventually dumping everyone into a government plan aka single payer.

    The government yet again polluting and distorting a market in which they ought not to be in.

    One question- can anyone point to a institution where they inserted themselves where a product or service became cheaper and more efficient? Healthcare? Education? Retirement?

    The government should not be involved in any institutional sphere other than to protect that sphere from force or fraud. Not inserting itself in that sphere to pick winners and create rules to benefit one entity over another or erect barriers to competition, i.e. monopolies cannot exist without governmental assistance erecting barriers to entry in a marketplace.

    Here’s a nutty idea- how about opening the insurance market across state or international lines? Is it better to have 2 or 3 options or hundreds? The government idea almost always benefits the government and those with the money to lobby politicans to augment rules to benefit them and keep them from competing.

    Anyone who is thankful for the government proactively doing something for them instead of leaving them alone and following the few, finite restraints outlined in the Constitution (which is long dead) has a slave mentality rather than a free human being.

    I’m not thankful for paying 28% more and once again not being eligible for tax credits. Perhaps I work too hard and should join the ranks of the recipients instead of being bled dry as a provider.

  8. Daniel M.

    Thank You For The Health Care When I Needed It Most !!

  9. John O.

    The ACA is anything but affordable, the premiums are still going thru the roof and the deductibles and co pays makes this insurance worse than those so called” substandard policies” it replaced. Now we have worse coverage AND coverage for things we don’t need. This entire article is nothing but propaganda from the White House press office. We have just as many uninsured as before AND our emergency rooms flooded with illegal aliens. Over 90% of those covered under the ACA were those already covered under MEDICAID. A simple expansion of MEDICAID would have solved the perceived problems without destroying the medical care we already had.

    • Marc

      False; where do you come up with the idea that “just as many are uninsured as before?” Nearly TEN MILLION people who had no coverage now have it. Maybe if you actually read the GOVERNMENT websites – like official census, DOL, CDC, etc, you’d have the facts instead of the trash talk you’re being spoon fed by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Puhleeze. The misinformation here is just too much – I’m out.

      • ken

        I hope you stay out with all your liberal trash talk.

  10. Dean C.

    For those who believe ACA is a problem…how were you covering yourselves before this was made mandatory? Just wait until you got sick and then show up at a hospital emergency room? Missed work because you could not see a doctor? Had work done at a hospital and let the taxpayer pick up your bill? ACA makes all people accountable for their health care. And by the way, paying a percentage of costs is how insurance works. Nothing is free! We have millions of people getting health care for the first time, making their lives better. We should be happy that American lives have improved and be grateful that this will save lives.

    • Sarah

      So glad to read your comments. I fear writing responses. My concern that most comments reflect such a lack of knowledge was was somewhat diminished by your response, so I had to comment. Too many American do not appreciate what they have.

    • azure

      I had private insurance that I paid for, because of where I live, my insurance choices were limited, for example I could not get coverage through Kaiser because the closest Kaiser area was over 90 miles away. The insurer was pretty good to begin with, over time coverage declined, premiums went up, although I was/am (knock on wood) pretty healthy. The organization itself changed in the past 10 years or so–got a standard CEO who made some bad investments, jacked up premiums, worsened service & the made the claims statements pretty close to impossible to understand. I complained once and was told it was for “confidentiality reasons”–which, I pointed out was BS as the form listed my date of birth and other “confidential information.” It was just another way of making it more difficult to contest an insurer’s decision to deny or limit coverage.

      After about 10 years, Regence decided it would no longer pay for preventive gynecological care (pap smears, etc.). Then the state I live in mandated that “well woman care” be paid for (not just “covered and subject the deductible” but paid for by the health insurer) by all insurers, so Regence again paid for that. For maybe 3 years, Regence covered one vision exam every 2 years and part of the cost of a pair of glasses & lenses. Then that disappeared.

      I changed to a $2500 deductible years ago to keep the premiums affordable.

      I’ve always had to pay for my dental & vision care. If you’re self-employed and your business isn’t big enough to utilize a corporate structure (corporations can deduct much much more then individuals or sole proprietors), then you are at a disadvantage re: federal & state income taxes. Large corporations have engaged in very effective lobbying on many levels for at least 50 years.

      There’s no question that the ACA enabled some people to obtain coverage who couldn’t get it before. But again, it was written by and for the greater profits (whether or not the insurer is allegedly a “non-profit”) of health insurers. Other much needed improvements, like mandating clear and understandable billing for patients, strong penalties for excess/double-billing, etc., AND that the patients themselves can enforce (i.e. citizen-suit provisions and the “citizens” get their attorney fees paid if they prevail), AND a rule that health care providers, particularly hospitals MUST bill the insurer w/in the insurer’s time limits OR the health care provider cannot bill the patient for any of the amount due.

      And a ban on the mergers of health care providers/hospitals that’s occurring and on insurers being able to own health care providers.

      People worry about big government when its larger & larger monopolistic corporations that are going to crush them and will be “too big to fail” and “too big to regulate” if they’re not already.

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