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Obamacare Support Campaign Kicks Off in Arizona

PHOTO: Phoenix mom Stacey Lihn (in green) waits to speak at Organizing for Action Arizona kick-off event in support of Obamacare. CREDIT: Doug Ramsey.
PHOTO: Phoenix mom Stacey Lihn (in green) waits to speak at Organizing for Action Arizona kick-off event in support of Obamacare. CREDIT: Doug Ramsey.
September 24, 2013

PHOENIX - The sign-up period for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, starts next week. The Arizona branch of Organizing for Action has opened a campaign to encourage enrollment and counter what they say is misinformation being spread about the health-care program.

Emergency medicine specialist Dr. Nicholas Vasquez told a Phoenix event that Obamacare's goal of insuring everyone is vital to lowering the cost of health care.

"You see, 5 percent of the patients in the United States account for 50 percent of the cost," the doctor said. "These are patients who have multiple diseases, multiple chronic diseases, and then take a turn for the worse."

Vasquez said that the more people who enter a health insurance pool, the less it costs for each individual.

Organizing for Action grew out of President Obama's re-election campaign, with the goal of supporting his legislative priorities.

The daughter of Phoenix mom Stacey Lihn was born with a severe heart defect that required several open-heart surgeries. Lihn recalled that daughter Zoey was halfway to the lifetime cap on her health insurance by the time she was six months old.

"How hard would she have to fight with insurance companies for the rest of her life just to get the health care she needed?", Lihn asked. "Thanks to Obamacare, shortly after Zoey's second surgery, we received a letter from our insurance company telling us that Zoey's lifetime cap had been lifted."

Planned Parenthood Arizona CEO Bryan Howard said that, until now, routine preventive health care has been unaffordable and inaccessible for many people. Under Obamacare, Howard said, the overall cost of health care will drop because the Affordable Care Act eliminates co-pays for preventive care.

"Treating a sexually-transmitted infection, breast cancer, cervical cancer, are all obviously more expensive than the cost of routine testing to ensure either that young women do not face these issues or catch them very early," Howard said.

Republicans in Congress say the nation can't afford the cost of Obamacare and are attempting to de-fund the program as a condition of extending the government's spending authority and raising the nation's debt limit.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ