The Affordable Care Act may still be generating plenty of headlines on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, but the real stories are somewhere else entirely. These stories of the new health care law are in the thousands of communities across the country where advocates are preparing for the October 1 opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace.
This past week I worked out of ACF’s regional offices in Kansas City and Chicago. Few waking hours passed without mention of the ACA and the opportunities it brings to the struggling Americans our programs serve.
From those who receive energy assistance and child care subsidies, to non-custodial parents paying child support, ACF works with millions of people who will be newly eligible for Medicaid or for reduced-cost insurance. Many of them are among our nation’s 44 million uninsured, and countless dedicated grantees, activists and state agencies are doing everything they can to reach them.
Here are a few of the stories I heard:
I could list many more examples of grassroots efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act, but you get the idea. Those who work every day with Americans who are struggling to achieve financial security, those who seek out and hold tight to every inch of safety net they can create or find – are focused on the Affordable Care Act.
This work will not likely make headlines. But it will make this historic shift in public policy work for the American people.
Marrianne McMullen is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs for the Administration for Children and Families.