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Health care act compiles local success stories

Published: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:38 a.m. CST

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."– Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Having worked my entire career assisting individuals with their health needs, I'm aware of the past deficits in our health care system. Too many people have delayed seeking health care because they don't have health insurance. This has caused only future, more serious diseases.

The Affordable Care Act provides the opportunity to change that picture. Major change of any kind causes anxiety and fear. "Will it work?" "See, it's not working." Those comments we've heard far too often through our media.

Well, now the website is up and working more smoothly, according to the Lee County Affordable Care Act counselor at Lee County Public Health. She has her appointments filled beyond Dec. 23.

Recently she told me there are success stories such as the woman who left her office crying because she was so happy to have an affordable insurance policy that would provide her with the 10 essentials of health care, such as prescription drug coverage, ambulance cost, and emergency care.

Other success stories come from those people age 50 to 63 with pre-existing conditions who now can have health care coverage.

Change can provide opportunity. Insurance companies that don't meet the 10 health essentials for coverage have canceled individual plans. However, individuals now have the opportunity to have the coverage to meet the health care crises that arise so unexpectedly in our lives.

Do not let politics, the media, or inaccurate information influence your personal health care decisions. Contact the Lee County Public Health Department at 815-284-3371 and ask for Rebecca Engelbarts, the Lee County counselor on the Affordable Care Act.

She is also available for speaking engagements to provide your organization, church, public gathering, or business staff with accurate information.

Note to readers: Barb Schwamberger is a retired nurse and social worker.

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