Did you know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) turns 10 this year? It’s true: the ACA was passed and signed into law on March 23rd, 2010. This important law helps people with diabetes thrive in a lot of ways. Here are just a few of them:
- Before the passage of the ACA, insurance companies could deny health insurance to people with diabetes or require them to pay more for their coverage. Today, because of the ACA, health insurers are prohibited from denying people coverage or charging them more because they have diabetes or any other preexisting condition.
- The ACA expanded access to Medicaid coverage. Adults with diabetes are disproportionately covered by Medicaid. As a result of this expansion, more individuals are being screened for and diagnosed with diabetes in Medicaid expansion states than states that haven’t expanded.
- The ACA also took important steps to expand initiatives focused on diabetes prevention such as requiring restaurants to list calorie counts on their menus and the creation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
Unfortunately, time and time again we’ve seen attempts to undermine the ACA. In fact, the Supreme Court recently announced they would hear a lawsuit which could eliminate the entire law. This lawsuit represents yet another attempt to undermine the ACA and its important protections for people with diabetes.
Over the past ten years, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has worked hard to protect the ACA from numerous legislative and legal efforts to repeal parts or all of the law. In 2017, we fought to defeat four pieces of legislation to repeal the ACA, all of which were considered serious threats when they were introduced. More recently, we joined with other patient advocacy groups to file three amicus briefs defending the ACA in the lawsuit that the Supreme Court will hear later this year.
We’re not done fighting—we will continue to advocate for this vitally important law and the protections it ensures for people with diabetes, because we’ve seen firsthand how it can make a real difference in the lives of the 34 million Americans living with diabetes. Can we count you in?
To stay updated on the latest regarding the ACA and join the fight, sign up to become a Diabetes Advocate today!
Rob Goldsmith is the Director of Federal Government Affairs for the ADA and Deema Tarazi is the Senior Manager of Federal Government Affairs for the ADA.