HOUSTON – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joined Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis on Feb. 17 at a community forum on saving the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a law that has expanded access to health care to millions of Americans.
More than 200 people, including several who shared their personal testimonies about the ACA and its impact on their lives, joined Congresswoman Lee and Commissioner Ellis.
Anna Nunez spoke of the cancer treatments she may not have had access to had it not been for the ACA. Amy Esdorn shared how despite having the preexisting condition of Crohn’s Disease, the law’s provisions still allowed her to secure affordable health insurance. And Marlin Phillips, a retired senior citizen who knows firsthand the high price of prescription drugs, spoke of the relief the ACA has provided to millions of people by helping to lower costs.
Also speaking out were health professionals who explained how and why the ACA saves lives.
Because of the ACA, 7 million Texans no longer have lifetime limits on their health insurance, and more than 300,000 young adults can receive coverage on their parents’ plans until the age of 26.
Nationwide, 6.3 million seniors in the “doughnut hole” have saved $6.1 billion dollars on their prescription drugs because of the ACA, and 3.2 million seniors have access to free annual wellness visits.
“Health care is a right and this forum underscored the ACA’s importance in the lives of so many people here in Harris County and across the nation,” Commissioner Ellis said. “We have made progress but we still have far to go and we need the ACA to do it. Texas’ uninsured rate has declined by 30 percent, but Harris County is still home to one million uninsured residents.”
Congresswoman Lee, quoting the words of Coretta Scott King, said, “The greatness of community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members … a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.”
Congresswoman Jackson Lee stated her belief that most experts in the trenches of our nation’s health-care system understand what’s at stake in this fight.
“The doctors who treat you and can get the test and write the prescriptions for the medications that will get and keep you well have a prescription for this nation,” Congresswoman Jackson Lee said. “Keep America Healthy, Save the Affordable Healthcare Act Law.”