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Bruce Hagen, Bismarck, Published June 02 2012

Health law offers welcome change

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 32 million Americans will soon have access to affordable health coverage. This will prevent millions of families from going bankrupt due to health-related emergencies.

In addition, young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 can now stay on their parents’ plan and insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to young children due to a pre-existing condition. Women will no longer have to pay extra for their plan or be denied maternity care. North Dakota hospitals have a more level playing field with Medicare reimbursements thanks to the Frontier Amendment and the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office says the ACA will cut government spending over a trillion dollars within the next 20 years.

More and more Americans are catching on to the fact that this is not only a good piece of legislation, but that it is long overdue. New polling shows that while a slight majority of voters react negatively when they hear the term “Obamacare,” these same voters – when asked about the law section by section – overwhelmingly approve it.

One of this country’s most popular programs has a similar start. Medicare only received lukewarm support in public polling in the 1960s and required several attempts before it passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law in 1965. But lawmakers who supported it knew it was the right thing to do and have been proven right in the long run.

The same thing will be true about the Affordable Care Act.