Despite the current instability with our healthcare system, it's important to recognize all that we have to be thankful for. Despite the current instability with our healthcare system, it’s important to recognize all that we have to be thankful for.

With all the uncertainty surrounding Open Enrollment, the GOP’s healthcare policies, and CHIP funding, it’s easy to find the negatives in our healthcare system. However, there are many things to be thankful for when it comes to healthcare in the United States. Here are just a few:

1. No one can be denied insurance coverage if they have a pre-existing condition.

After former President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act, it’s now illegal for insurance companies to deny anyone coverage based on their prior health conditions. It wasn’t too long ago now, that if you had diabetes or cancer, you could be denied insurance. That’s definitely something to be thankful for.

2. Health plans must cover essential benefits.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans offered through the Marketplace must cover essential health benefits, including emergency care, maternity care, preventative wellness screenings and mental health benefits. These benefits are hugely important for increasing access to quality healthcare in America.

3. Insurance is relatively easy to obtain.

Through health insurance marketplaces, consumers can immediately see what kind of coverage they qualify for and if they are eligible for any cost-sharing subsidies. And through JOANY, which is free, individuals can get personalized plan recommendations and help to enroll in the plan that’s right for them. Young people can also stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, making it easier to obtain health insurance as a young adult.

Getting insurance is still a messy and complicated process, but there are many tools available to help.

4. The United States is a country of great medical innovation.

The U.S. has proven to be one of the world’s greatest medical innovators. More Nobel Prizes for medicine are awarded to researchers in the United States than are awarded for the entire European Union, plus Switzerland, Canada, Japan and Australia. Most of the newest life-saving drugs are first introduced in the U.S., and some of the best access to modern medical and diagnostic technology is found right here. We should be grateful to have important medical breakthroughs taking place in our own backyard.

5. We’re starting conversations about healthcare coverage and our insurance system.

This year’s Open Enrollment may have sparked the most debate surrounding our country’s health system that we’ve ever had. Regardless of your feelings on the state of healthcare in America, and President Trump’s plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, it’s important to open this dialogue with others. The decisions made in the White House have tangible impacts on real lives. It’s time we start talking about the future of healthcare in America.


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