A Fine Day to Discuss the Value of the ACA

This morning brings some sad news, that Rick Santorum’s daughter, Bella, has been hospitalized in Philadelphia. The child has Trisomy 18, a particularly heartbreaking genetic condition.

I do not share the opinion that it is distasteful to discuss the political issues surrounding a tragedy, that there should be some kind of grace period. If you want to argue for or against gun control in the wake of a school shooting, have at it. Why should the very day an issue gets maximum media saturation be the one day we can’t discuss its political contours?

Point being, I think it’s okay to point out that under the Affordable Care Act, insurers can’t deny coverage to children with a preexisting condition or disability.

[T]he law actually prevents insurance carriers from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions (and disabilities), prohibits health plans from putting a lifetime dollar limit on benefits and offers new options for long-term care. This why groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Organization For Rare Disorders, and The Arc of the United States not only support the law, but have gone filed an amicus brief in its defense.

And it’s equally okay to remind voters that Santorum, in an act of startling cynicism, continues to equate the ACA with socialism, even suggesting that it would lead to the death of his daughter. His claim that he’s “fighting for Bella and other children like her” — and, by extension, proponents of the ACA are not — is spurious.

By all accounts, Santorum’s daughter has beaten the odds. She’s gotten marvelous healthcare. I have yet to encounter a decent justification from either Santorum or his fellow candidates for denying the nation’s children the same opportunity.