More than 50 volunteers who are helping local residents sign up for health care insurance were recognized by state and local leadership last Saturday. To date, these Certified Application Counselors (CACs) have helped more than 500 individuals with the new Marketplace system, overcoming barriers of language, technology and understanding the new health care law. The volunteers were thanked for the commitment and service:
U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) offered a historical perspective to the Affordable Care Act, reminding the audience that there was initial push back regarding Medicare in 1939 and Social Security in 1965, which are now considered "third rails" of our society. The retiring Congressman predicted a similar acceptance for the Affordable Care Act, originally passed in 2010, to fundamentally change our society.
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly added that even in affluent Loudoun, Fairfax and Arlington counties, more people declare bankruptcy due to healthcare costs than any other reason. He mentioned that the Act will now provide health care for the many veterans in our community.
Del. Ken Plum (D-36) shared with the volunteers that even with a Democratic-led governor and Senate, Medicaid expansion in the Commonwealth will be a struggle, and if it is passed, will not take effect right away.