There’s an old saying we’re used to hearing when times are tough: “At least I’ve got my health.” This year, that expression has taken on new meaning, and we’ve all developed a new appreciation for it.
Indiana, our country and the entire world have been fighting COVID-19 for months now, and we are in its tightest grip yet as cases and hospitalizations soar to record highs. In Black communities here in Indianapolis and across America, the impact of this horrible pandemic has hit particularly hard. We continue to face higher infection rates and death rates from COVID-19, on top of many other inequities in health outcomes Black people face. Diabetes, maternal mortality, many types of cancer and heart disease are just a few illnesses that Black people suffer from at higher rates than Americans of other backgrounds.
It’s clear that for all people, and especially Black people, taking control of our health is one of the most important priorities to ensure future well-being and success. That’s why I am so incredibly pleased that President Barack Obama understood this need in our communities and took bold action by enacting the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I was honored to play a role in passing this bill, and voting for it remains one of the highlights of my time serving you in Congress. Since the ACA’s passage more than 10 years ago, millions of Americans have secured quality health care through the law, many of them for the very first time.
However, Republicans continue to attack and undermine the Affordable Care Act. In fact, Republicans and the Trump Administration are trying to convince the Supreme Court to overturn the law after Congress repeatedly refused to repeal it. It is very wrong that they would try to rip care away from millions of people, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. Despite these attacks, the ACA remains the law of the land, and I will continue working tirelessly to protect it from these reckless repeal efforts.
One way you can help strengthen this law, as well as your heath, is by enrolling in a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act during Open Enrollment season. It’s happening now and ends Dec. 15. During this time, you can sign up for a quality and affordable plan that’s right for you and your family. Your coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2021. I can’t think of a smarter way to ring in the new year. For more information and to enroll in a plan, please visit healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596. You may also be able to learn more at your local community health center.
When we face difficulties, we may feel like the only thing we have is our health. However, the current pandemic has reminded us that, in good times and bad, we’re incredibly fortunate and blessed to hold on to it. Our health is our power. Our health is our strength. Our health allows us to fight another day, even when it seems like nothing else is going right.
This Open Enrollment season, safeguard and strengthen your well-being by enrolling in a health plan that protects you and your family. It may be the best thing you’ll do in this tough year.
Rep. Carson represents the 7th District of Indiana. He is a Member of the Congressional Black Caucus and one of three Muslims in Congress. Rep. Carson sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, where he is chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation. Contact Rep. Carson at carson.house.gov/contact.