Advocates, citizens, leaders celebrate first birthday of health care bill

By: Julia Deng and Candice Winters


Listen to a story by Annenberg Radio News:


Lawmakers and advocates for health care revision joined voices and sliced into a large white birthday cake to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The auditorium at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center hosted a panel of speakers. Some spoke about how the act helped them. Others advocated continuing support for President Barack Obama and the law.

Dave Jones, California’s insurance commissioner, doesn’t see how anyone could not support the act.

“The money that we want to go toward our physicians and our nurses and our hospitals and our community clinics, the insurance companies view as a loss,” Jones said. “This law, the Affordable Care Act, makes sure they’re putting more of the money they’re collecting from us and our employers into provisions for health care.”

image The law was signed by Obama one year ago and will be phased in over a span of three years. For Nina Sharky, the act brought about a change in heath care coverage, but it wasn’t one she’d hoped for.

“The coverage that I have now is a shell of the coverage that I bought 20 years ago,” Sharky said. “And there are no laws that prevent them from changing coverage whenever they feel like it. Unfortunately, there is a wonderful provision in the ACA that can’t help me because it doesn’t come in until 2014. There are 800,000 people just like me.”

The act eliminates the clauses that exclude children who have certain medical conditions from being offered health insurance. Los Angeles congresswoman Karen Bass says this act has met opposition from republicans in Congress. They say with the federal and state budgets in such dire straits the country cannot afford to pay for it. Although there are some who are excluded from ACA benefits, Bass says it does more good than any available alternative.

“This is something that effects all of us,” Bass said. “I spent two and a half years in this hospital, coming to this hospital day in and day out with my step-daughter going through chemotherapy for leukemia. She’s now gonna be 20 years old, in great health. The reason she will have health care coverage today, is because we’re celebrating the one year anniversary of the affordable care act.”

Bass says that most Californians don’t know enough about health care. She hopes these events will change that.


  1. Families are already being helped by the Affordable Care Act. Read their stories and share your own here:

  2. John D. Froelich says:

    With millions having their insurance cancelled, this unworkable Obamacare is a disaster!

  3. John D. Froelich says:

    What will they do to help repair the damage after they celebrate?

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