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Peace of mind from health care reform

Dina is a neighborhood team leader in Boca Raton, and recently she shared why health care reform is important to her as a mother.

There's a lot that comes with the territory of being a mother.

You want your kids to be healthy, you want them to be safe—but you also want them to be free. If you're lucky enough to have insurance, you can focus your concern on their injuries or illnesses instead of stressing over going bankrupt because you can't pay for their care.

Being the mom of two wonderful and talented girls (if I do say so myself), these have been my concerns for the past twenty-two years. With both the girls in college, my husband and I worried if they were getting the right amount of sleep and if they actually had food in their dorm rooms besides kettle corn. Not to mention, of course, making sure their tuition payments were made on time.

But now my oldest is about to graduate and so much is going to change. Jenna is a full adult now and she'll be looking to get her career started. I want her to go down the path that she thinks is best for her to succeed. She's been studying and working for four years now. She should be worried about her next steps in life, not about her health insurance.

Knowing that she can stay on my insurance plan until she turns twenty-six is such a relief.

Before the historic reforms to health insurance that President Obama pushed and signed into law with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, your kids would automatically be dropped if they turned twenty-one or once they graduated from college. These young people fresh out of school would all of a sudden have to cross their fingers and hope that nothing happened while they scrambled to take the first job they could find that offered benefits.

I'm sure my daughter will find something once she graduates. She's bright, dedicated and I know how hard she works. But in case she doesn't immediately find a job my husband and I can rest assured that she will still have health insurance.

It's not just my daughter—it's her friends and her classmates. It's 160,000 young people under the age of 26 in Florida and 2.5 million across the country who don't have to worry about getting sick.

Some of my daughter's friends in her graduating class will have jobs after May. Others will be doing volunteer work. Some will have internships and some don't have any set plans at all. Life will be coming at them with everything its got once they enter the "real world." Now, however, I don't have to worry about this period in her life being a gamble on her health.

And being young is not a good enough insurance policy for my daughter or for anyone that age. You can wake up one day and find yourself ill or get into an accident that isn't even your fault. Your health plan is supposed to be there for you precisely when the worst happens.

And that's what I worry about as a mom: protecting my daughters from the worst. But thanks to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, I can rest easy knowing my daughter is free to work hard and make the most of her future.

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