Sometime social change comes in inspiring speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, the East room of the White House, or the Senate floor. When we need to guarantee that people’s serious but complex human needs are met, we often express our humanity through boring, bureaucratic form letters Hence the attached letter from a Mr. Michael Knitter of our university benefits office. It’s the kind of letter that often finds its way straight to the recycle bin. It shouldn’t.
Knitter’s letter explains changes to our insurance plan made to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Children will not be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Young adult children can stay on our insurance plan until age 26. There is no lifetime limit on coverage for costly conditions such as cancer. For more on this letter, see here and here.
You can find many good pieces today which explaining the importance of health reform and the fatuousness of alleged Republican alternatives. For me, the significance of this day hit home in a more prosaic way. Thanks to health reform, including regulations that become operational today, we’ve made the University of Chicago a more humane and secure place for our friends and colleagues who struggle with health difficulties. The same is happening in countless other work places. Voters may not be quite ready to see this yet, but health reform is beginning to quietly help millions of people.
I am proud to have played a small part in this–and to have gotten the chance to take this really, really lousy picture.
Update: Igor Volsky has another nice posting and cross-tab of Affordable Care Act provisions with the GOP “Pledge to America.”