My day at the Rose Garden

I am pleased to introduce Marcelle Altshuler, a government relations intern here at Easter Seals, as a guest blogger today.

Guess where I sat at the President’s press conference?

by Marcelle Altshuler

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Marcelle smiling

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Me

My internship at Easter Seals in Washington, D.C. started in August and I have had the chance to do many exciting things and meet many wonderful people. Last Monday I had the privilege of representing Easter Seals at President Obama’s speech regarding The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Rose Garden at the White House. In fact, I found myself settled in the front row only a couple seats from the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

Easter Seals was invited in recognition of the importance of access to health insurance for people with disabilities, as we have championed this message throughout the passage and implementation of the law.

A small group of advocates and people who have already benefitted from the ACA stood with the President to celebrate the ACA’s successes and discuss how to address technical issues with the registration website

Marcelle in a red coat and smiling as she stands in front of the empty presidential podium in the rose garden

Me in the Rose Garden

We were reminded that although there have been technical issues with the website, insurance coverage may also be purchased over the phone or in person with local Navigator assistance. President Obama emphasized that even though this process has had some bumps through the rollout, the new system for purchasing insurance is simpler and will result in people actually getting health insurance that before had been out of reach.

Prior to the law, children and adults with pre-existing conditions could be dropped from their coverage. For the past 2 years, children cannot be denied coverage for preexisting conditions, and starting in January, these protections will apply to adults with pre-existing conditions, too. I know these two reforms will guarantee that many people with disabilities have a better chance of accessing private healthcare coverage.

It is a true pleasure to be a part of Easter Seals and work with a group that is aiming to ensure that people with disabilities have access to affordable health coverage and that the needs of people with disabilities are met.


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