The Affordable Care Act praised by health care advocates in Valle del Sol

The Affordable Care Act praised by health care advocates in Valle del Sol
The Affordable Care Act praised by health care advocates in Valle del Sol

Arizona Sen. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix, speaks at a news conference marking the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act at the Valle del Sol Community Health Center in downtown Phoenix on March 26, 2024. (Photo by Crystal Aguilar/Cronkite News)

Laura Packard, executive director of the health care organization Health Care Voter and a cancer survivor who benefited from the Affordable Care Act, spoke at a press conference marking the 14th anniversary of the act at the Valle del Sol Community Health Center in downtown Phoenix on March 26, 2024. (Photo by Crystal Aguilar/Cronkite News)

Dr. Mario Islas, chief medical officer at Valle del Sol Community Health Center, speaks at a press conference to mark the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act in downtown Phoenix on March 26, 2024. (Photo by Crystal Aguilar/Cronkite news)

Matt Jewett, director of health policy at Children’s Action Alliance, speaks at a news conference marking the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act at Valle del Sol Community Health Center in downtown Phoenix on March 26, 2024. (Photo by Crystal Aguilar/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – On Tuesday morning, health care advocates and others gathered at the Valle del Sol Community Health Center in downtown Phoenix to celebrate the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act is a comprehensive health care reform law passed in March 2010 and is sometimes known as the ACA or «Obamacare.» During the 2024 open enrollment period, a record 21.3 million people nationwide chose an ACA Health Insurance Marketplace plan. The number of Arizonans covered by the ACA grew by more than 110,000 over the year to 348,055, also a record.

Despite its growing acceptance, the ACA continues to be a contentious topic in the political arena.

Arizona Sen. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix, is a cancer survivor who has personal concerns about the ACA and where it sits on the political agenda.

«I’m in active treatment for lung cancer and have been for several years,» Alston said. «I know that without insurance I wouldn’t be able to afford the treatment that literally kept me alive.»

Alston found out last week that he is cancer-free, but said treatment is ongoing.

«I want my constituents here in LD5 (Legislative District 5) and across the state of Arizona to have the same quality of care that I enjoy and the same life-saving measures that are available when people can afford health insurance,» said she.

(Video by Adriana Gonzalez-Chavez/Cronkite News)

The White House said in February 2023 that «nearly every Republican budget or fiscal plan over the past decade has included a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.»

U.S. Rep. Juan Siscomani, R-Tucson, is a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently called for a repeal of the ACA. In a Tucson Sentinel article, Ciscomani declined to say whether he supports repealing the ACA.

Related story

«With any grand coalition in Washington, there is a wide range of, and sometimes conflicting, viewpoints,» Siscomani told the news outlet via email. «The Republican caucus is creating a number of common sense provisions, but I don’t buy into every proposal they put forward. What best reflects my perspective are the votes I take, the bills I introduce and the legislation I support.”

Dr. Mario Islas, Valle del Sol’s chief medical officer, said the ACA is one of the most «powerful and effective pieces of legislation.» He called it an integral part of helping health centers and their communities become healthier.

“A healthy community is a strong community,” Islas said.

Laura Packard is the executive director of Health Care Voter, a health care advocacy organization, and is a stage 4 cancer survivor. She used the ACA during treatment and said the program saved her life.

«It’s important that we have elected officials who vote for our health care instead of against it,» Packard said.

Cronkite News reporter Ian McKinney contributed to this story.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *