Rep. Judy Chu (right) attends an open-enrollment event at ChapCare in Monrovia to encourage eligible residents to sign up for healthcare coverage through Covered California. With her is ChapCare CEO Margie Martinez. Courtesy photo

Rep. Judy Chu wants to make sure that all eligible residents of the San Gabriel Valley have healthcare coverage through Covered California. The deadline is Jan. 31.

To highlight this, Chu attended an open-enrollment event at ChapCare Lime in Monrovia this past Saturday to spread the word.

South Pasadena is among almost 20 West San Gabriel Valley communities Chu represents that constitute the 27th Congressional District.

“At some point, all of us will need health insurance,” Chu said. “But without it, you could be facing avoidable health complications or staggering costs.

“But thanks to the Affordable Care Act,” she added, “more Americans are able to access the regular care they need and deserve to keep them healthy and avoid financial ruin when they get sick.” 

Chu said approximately 43,000 people in the area are without health insurance. She also clarified some misunderstandings about the ACA. 

“Despite attempts to undermine and repeal the Affordable Care Act,” she said, “I want everyone to know that it is still very much the law of the land.” 

She emphasized that insurance cannot discriminate against individuals for having a preexisting condition. 

“And it means insurance must cover certain essential health benefits like prescription drugs, emergency room visits, and mental health benefits,” she said.

A statement on Chu’s website went on to say, “Healthcare should be affordable and accessible for all. That means nobody should be denied life-saving treatments because of preexisting conditions, nor should anybody have to choose between paying for medicine or paying their bills.

“As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and its Health Subcommittee, I am committed to working to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, as well as protecting the Medicare program so we can ensure our Seniors have quality care they can count on.

“The ACA made considerable improvements to our nation’s healthcare system, which includes putting in place protections for people with pre-existing conditions, preventing health plans from charging women more than men, and requiring that all health plans cover a minimum set of Essential Health Benefits, like hospital visits and prescription drugs.’’

She said she will continue to resist efforts to repeal or limit ACA.

“Instead of attacking the ACA as Republicans have since it was passed, Congress should be working together to improve the system we have, like continuing to invest in public health and expanding Medicaid,’’ she said.

“I also believe we should be doing more to address the underlying costs of healthcare, like the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs.

“Finally, I believe we should be looking forward in healthcare, not backwards. That is why I am one of the founding members of the Medicare for All Caucus. The purpose of this caucus is to begin discussions about how to improve and expand healthcare coverage for everyone in our country.’’

More information is available on the official Covered California website: coveredca.com, or by calling 1-888-975-1142. Paper applications are also available in Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages at coveredca.com/apply/.

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