CHA has made available a series of four videos profiling people who have been helped by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The videos, which debuted at the Catholic Health Assembly in June, can be viewed at www.youtube.com/healthreformworks. CHA is encouraging members to link to the videos to build public awareness of the value of health reform.
The videos show how average people across the country are benefiting in poignant and profound ways from health reform law provisions that took effect last year.
The profiles run from about two and a half minutes to four minutes. They include a 24-year-old dairy farmer who would be incapacitated by arthritis pain without expensive medication. Because of health reform, he is now guaranteed coverage under his parents' health insurance policy until he reaches age 26. Another vignette features a low-income senior with multiple chronic conditions, who relates what it's like to worry about having to choose between buying food and buying medicine. Under reform, he is better able to afford his prescriptions. The mother of a child cancer survivor shares her relief that her bubbly 7-year-old can no longer be denied insurance coverage on the basis of her preexisting condition. A small business owner views employee health insurance as a moral imperative, and he applauds the tax credits that help him continue to afford that coverage.
"Health reform earns greater support whenever Americans are able to see the actual people — often people in circumstances just like theirs — who have directly benefited from the law," says Mike Rodgers, CHA's senior vice president of advocacy and public policy. "These videos show how reform is working already — and help combat negative messages that are still in the media and blogosphere."
CHA also is soliciting leads from members about people whose lives have improved as a result of the Affordable Care Act. CHA will produce videos telling those stories and share them through a "story bank." As more provisions of health reform are rolled out, new stories will feature those people and organizations benefiting from those advances. To share story ideas, contact Jeff Tieman, CHA's senior director of health reform initiatives.
The video project is one of the ways CHA continues to advocate on behalf of health reform and work to ensure that it is implemented in a manner that is fair to patients and providers alike, said Tieman.
Another helpful resource — especially for patients and consumers — is the website www.healthcareandyou.org, where visitors can obtain information on the reform provisions already in effect, those coming soon and ideas for finding affordable coverage now.
CHA encourages member health systems, hospitals and long-term care providers to share links to the YouTube videos and the HealthCareAndYou website on their websites so the communities they serve can obtain concise, real-time information on what the Affordable Care Act means for American workers, businesses, families, seniors and children.
CHA also hopes that individuals in the ministry will share links to the videos and HealthCareAndYou site with their personal social networks. "You can't flip a switch to make videos 'go viral,' but each of us can contribute to the goal of sharing these stories as widely as possible," said Tieman. "Every time you send the link to a colleague or friend, or post it on your website or Facebook page, you help correct misinformation and personalize this important issue."
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