New Year's Message from Ward 6 Dem John Tener: Reminding us why we fight for our cause

Dear Friends, and friends of friends,

Today marks the day that America finally accomplished the most far-reaching and fundamental reform in health care history. But as John McDonough notes in the Boston Globe below, few seemed to notice.  I recommend McDonough's essay to you, and particularly his daring but quite insightful comparison to the last several decades of fighting for health care reform  to the Civil War battle at Gettysburg. That battle was a fundamental turning point in the great war to end slavery and save the Union.  And just as the Civil  War continued for many months thereafter, the outcome was foreordained.  So it is with health reform in America.  There is no turning back now.  There remains only the continuing task to build and improve on this momentous beginning.
Today, for the first time in American history, Americans now can see the following:
  1. Millions of young adults legally  remaining on their parents' health insurance policies until age 26;
  2. Tens of millions of Americans gaining new access to free preventive care;
  3. More than one hundred million Americans no longer faced with lifetime caps on health insurance coverage;
  4. No American can now be denied health insurance coverage for so-called "pre-existing" conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or more; 
  5. No more "job-lock" wherein Americans are forced to stay in unsuitable or dead-end jobs just to keep their health insurance benefits;
  6. Greatly expanded, legally required coverage for, among other things, mental health;
  7. Greatly expanded choices in obtaining insurance coverage most suitable to the individual and family, with expanded choices of insurers, co-pays, and deductibles; 
  8. No more discrimination against women in policy premiums.
  9. Rapid decline in the months and years to come in the number of Americans who die simply because they lack health insurance, which estimates have ranged from 18,000 to 43,000 per year.
Americans have much to be grateful for this New Year, not the least of which is  the courage and tenaciousness of our political leaders in forging ahead  to bring health justice, and with it peace of mind, to millions of Americans previously left behind.
Warm regards, and Happy New Year,