Here is Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready’s new petition:
To be delivered to: Candidates for public office
I pledge not to vote for any candidates who oppose ObamaCare.
My name is Mike McCready, and I play guitar for Pearl Jam. I also have Crohn’s disease, a chronic condition that requires regular medical care to control my symptoms. I’m thankful our band has done well and I have the resources, monetary or other, to cover health care costs rejected by my insurer. Not everyone is so lucky.
I think about all the kids I’ve met with Crohn’s and other chronic illnesses and worry that they will not receive the health care they need. We have a unique opportunity this November to declare that health care is not a luxury, but a right.
Beginning January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare, will prevent insurance companies from denying health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. Further, insurers will no longer be allowed to set premiums based on health status. Without ObamaCare, many people will automatically be denied enrollment into insurance policies, regardless of what they are willing to pay, based solely on suffering from a pre-existing condition. ObamaCare will also make it easier for everyone to purchase private health insurance by requiring states to set up marketplaces, which provide clear comparisons of the various health insurance options.
Some candidates have vowed to repeal ObamaCare, but claim they would still somehow protect those with pre-existing conditions. Don’t fall for it. We had to fight for years to get these protections.
Some provisions of ObamaCare have already been implemented, benefitting millions of people. More than 2.5 million young adults can now remain on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. Pre-existing condition exclusions for children under the age of 19 have been eliminated. Fifty-four million Americans now receive free preventive care. ObamaCare increased annual limits on policy coverage and removed lifetime limits. This provides more health care for patients with chronic conditions, who may have otherwise reached their limits from a few procedures.
Additionally, ObamaCare expanded our right to appeal insurance company denials for payment or coverage under your policy. We now have the right to appeal to an Independent Review Organization that can overturn your insurer’s decision. Because of this process, the external review board was able to overturn denials from my insurance company for life-supporting treatments of my disease on two occasions. Our health insurance providers no longer have the final word.
This November, we must ensure that all Americans receive access to health care coverage. Pledge to vote only for candidates who support President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.