Confused about health care reform, or what people call the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare? Don't worry, you are not alone! It's a big topic with a lot of information (and misinformation) that's available to people. One of the key tenets of the Network is to provide information that is clear, understandable and can help you be a better advocate for children's mental health. This section of the website is designed to give family members, youth, professionals and children's mental health advocates a place to go where they can get the inside scoop about health care reform and its implications for children and families involved in receiving mental health services and supports.
This webpage will become your go-to place to get up to date, relevant, and accessible information on the Affordable Care Act. We are continually updating this section with relevant information so if you see something missing, have something to share, or there's an issue you'd like to learn more about, let us know! Below you'll find information about health care reform in general, what implementation means for youth and families, and how to help support the implementation of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act in your state or community. If you would like to take action to support the implementation of health care reform visit our Health Care Reform Advocacy page.
Health Care Reform 101: This is the place to start in order to understand the basics of the Affordable Care Act.
- Our favorite intro resource is this short animation developed by the Kaiser Family Foundation: Health Reform Hits Main Street. In less than 10 minutes you can understand the why, what, and how of the Affordable Care Act.
- Play the Thanks Obamacare game to see what life will look like with health care reform. The game sends visitors through a hypothetical series of life changes, such as changing jobs or getting into a skiing accident. Players can proceed “with Obamacare” and gain points as they take advantage of provisions like the ban on insurers denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Pay close attention to your happiness meter!
- Another great resource is Jonathan Gruber's Health Care Reform comic book. It's only $13.95 and explains what health care reform is, why it's necessary, and how it works in a very accessible way. Order it here.
Organizations and Projects with Helpful Health Care Reform Resources:
- Families USA
- Stand Up for Health Care
- Kaiser Family Foundation
- Enroll America
- State Reforum
- The Commonwealth Fund
- Thanks Obamacare
- Health Reform GPS
- Health Care and You
- SAMHSA Health Insurance Enrollment Page
- Check out some of the great health care reform resources we have in our Resource Database. Visit the Resource Database and under the 'Topics' menu select 'Health Care Reform' or just click here. You'll be able to access a health care reform implementation timeline, peruse a health care reform glossary, and see what states are doing to implement health care reform.
- Looking for coverage in your state? Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page and use the healthcare.gov widget to see what options are available to you in your state.
- The Bottom Line: How the Affordable Care Act Helps America's Families
- Children and Health Care Reform: Assuring Coverage That Meets Their Health Care Needs
- Illustrating Health Reform: How Health Insurance Coverage Will Work (be sure to select Manny and Tammy Shanny, Larry and Mary Perry, and Sue and Stue Santos to get resources specifically for families)