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NACBHDD celebrates ACA's second anniversary

March 23, 2012
by Dennis Grantham
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America's county behavioral health and developmental disability directors express continued support for the Affordable Care Act


The National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD, Washington, DC) reaffirmed its strong support for the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) on the second anniversary of its signing, March 23, 2012.

“Especially this year, we need to commemorate this anniversary in a very visible and participatory way," says NACBHDD Executive Director Ron Manderscheid, noting that "just three days from now, the US Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of the ACA's individual mandate (i.e., the requirement that all adult Americans purchase health insurance or face a financial penalty) and the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion (i.e., expansion of the Medicaid Program in January 2014 to cover adults up to 138 % of the Federal Poverty Level). We need to demonstrate to the Court and to all Americans our strong and unwavering commitment to the ACA."

Manderscheid cites five reasons why NACBHDD supports the Affordable Care Act: 

•        For 32 million Americans who will receive personal health insurance, many for the first time, the new insurance will be a financial lifeline that can help avert financial disaster in the event of a catastrophic illness.

•        For our 2012 college graduates, all have the security that they can remain on their family policy until age 26.

•        For those children and adolescents up to age 19 (and after 2014, for any age), insurance must be provided even when a pre-existing condition is present.

•        For a family facing financial ruin because of very expensive, long-term health care costs due to a chronic illness, the removal of annual and lifetime insurance limits will provide an essential safe harbor.

•        For those likely to develop a long-term chronic health condition, like heart disease, the newly-covered disease prevention and health promotion interventions may delay the onset or avert the chronic condition entirely.