Granite State Lawmakers and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Discuss What's at Stake for the Affordable Care Act in 2021
Concord, NH – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan, Representative Anne Kuster, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Dr. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, and Granite Stater Nancy Glynn joined Protect Our Care New Hampshire for a virtual press conference to discuss what the Affordable Care Act has accomplished for New Hampshire over the past decade, and why Granite Staters need to safeguard their family’s health and safety by signing up for the ACA. As unemployment and infections increase, the Affordable Care Act’s annual open enrollment period will kick off on November 1 for six weeks.
Open enrollment through the Health Insurance Marketplace will run from November 1, 2020 to December 15, 2020. New Hampshire residents have lots of options for 2021: three health insurance companies to choose from, with a variety of plans, health care provider networks, and a range of price points — even if you already have an existing plan. For 2021, New Hampshire’s average premiums are expected to decrease as a result of new reinsurance programs. Learn more at Covering New Hampshire.
Speakers discussed how the Affordable Care Act has helped Granite Staters access coverage, and what’s at stake as the ACA is now at risk of repeal before the Supreme Court. You can watch the recording here.
Dr. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, M.D., a family physician activist with almost a decade of experience practicing full scope family medicine with obstetrics in Nashua, N.H said “As a family physician, my main goal is to optimize my patient’s wellness experience by helping them be the best form of themselves. While we still have work to do to improve our health delivery system, my patients cannot afford to go back to a time where they could not receive basic preventive services, like vaccines or pap smears or colonoscopies. This is especially true during this COVID pandemic, where hard working families are struggling financially.” Dr. Ramas added that, “A vast majority of my time as a family physician is focused on providing mental health services. One of benefits of the Affordable Care Act has been expansion of behavioral health support for mental health and substance use disorder. I am grateful that our state has been able to slow that trend in large part due to ACA coverage of life-saving treatments for my patients, who would previously be considered as having pre-existing conditions. “
United States Senator Maggie Hassan, a leader in the Senate for protecting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act and lowering health care costs, commented on the importance of the ACA for Granite Staters saying, “Every American deserves quality, affordable health insurance coverage to help them lead healthy and productive lives,” Senator Hassan said. “As our country grapples with the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to health care has never been more important. I urge Granite Staters to take advantage of the open enrollment period starting November 1 and shop around for a health insurance plan on healthcare.gov.”
United States Representative Annie Kuster, who knows small businesses serve as the backbone of our local economy, said, “This pandemic has made access to quality, affordable health care more important than ever." Rep. Annie Kuster added, "As we continue to recover from COVID-19, it's crucial that we protect and build on the progress of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA has expanded access to health insurance, lowered the costs of treatment and prescription drugs, and offers protections for those with pre-existing conditions. But it's not perfect, and that's why I'm working to strengthen the ACA, grow the number of people covered by health insurance, and continue to reduce costs. Everyone should have access to the health care they need, and by building on the ACA, we can create a health care system that works for everyone."
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was on the call.
As part of the historic Affordable Care Act, she implemented reforms that ended many of the insurance industry’s worst abuses and helped millions of uninsured Americans get health coverage. She said, “The Republicans… have no health care plan. They have no way to protect people with pre-existing conditions. They all say they do, they lie about it. There is no plan. So, the health and safety of everyone in the Granite State is on the line in this election.” Secretary Sebelius remarked that, “if the Affordable Care Act is struck down, and the federal dollars that flow to New Hampshire for expanded Medicaid go away, there will suddenly be a crisis in New Hampshire…”
Granite Stater Nancy Glynn shared her personal story, saying that, “...having the option of having the Medicaid expansion and the ACA put a lot of ease on me because I’m a mom, and I was looking at years and years without having any health care,” said Nancy Glynn. “It’s kind of scary because we’re wondering if [the ACA] is going to get struck down, but at the same time, I can tell you that even being able to have health care for a brief period of time… has been really helpful, so… to anybody that has been looking to obtain health care, go to the ACA.”
In a written statement, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen said, “Access to health care has never been as critical as it is today. As our nation continues to navigate its way through a devastating pandemic, it is so important that Americans are able to purchase and maintain quality, affordable coverage for themselves and their families.”
You can watch a recording of the event, hosted by Protect Our Care New Hampshire, Covering New Hampshire with the support of Granite State Progress and the NH Medical Society here, and learn more about how the lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act would devastate Granite Staters here.