Voices of Health Reform: James’s Story

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Release Time: 

For Immediate Release

 This installment of Voices of Health Reform can be found online HERE <www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/01/25/voices-health-reform-james-s-story> . James Howard will be a guest of the First Lady at tonight’s State of the Union address.

Voices of Health Reform: James’s Story
Posted by Stephanie Cutter on January 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM EST
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series <www.whitehouse.gov/blog/issues/Health-Care>  where readers can meet average Americans already benefiting from the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

James Howard from Katy, Texas was diagnosed with brain cancer in March, 2010 and later thought his lack of health insurance was a death sentence. One of his prescription drugs alone cost $10,000 a week and he had no idea how he would afford the costs of prescriptions, doctor’s visits, tests and treatments. James searched, but could not find affordable health insurance until he discovered the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan <https://www.pcip.gov/> . Here’s how the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan works:

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is a bridge to 2014, when the health insurance exchanges will offer people like James and small businesses a competitive marketplace where they can shop for more affordable insurance based on price and quality. In addition, in 2014, denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on a pre-existing condition will be prohibited.

But we know that people like James need immediate relief. Between now and 2014, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan offers health insurance to Americans who have been uninsured for at least six months and have a pre-existing condition or have been denied health coverage because of their health condition. Depending on where you live, the plan is operated by either your state or the Department of Health and Human Services.

James is grateful for the coverage the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan offers and says that without it, he would not have been able to continue his treatments.

Tonight, you’ll be able to spot James as he watches the State of the Union address <www.whitehouse.gov/state-of-the-union-2011?utm_source=012511&utm_medium=intro1&utm_campaign=daily>  here in Washington with First Lady Michelle Obama and other Americans from across the country. You can listen to his story now:

[Go to the blog watch the video <www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/01/25/voices-health-reform-james-s-story> ]

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