Last week marked two years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama. Millions of Americans have already been helped by the health reform law, including 2.5 million young adults who now have coverage, and 20.4 million women who now have access to preventive care. State and local officials across the country wrote to explain how heath care reform is already impacting their community.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a statement to describe what the Affordable Care Act means to California:
This historic reform to our healthcare system protects everyone, particularly the most vulnerable among us, including our children and seniors. Californians can no longer lose their health coverage for being ill, and soon they will not be denied coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition.
In Oregon, Governor John Kitzhaber explained in the Oregonian how the Affordable Care Act is reducing costs:
People have access to better coverage, and states like Oregon have the flexibility we need to drive down costs while improving the delivery of health care for those who need it most. In just the past year, nearly 45,000 Oregon seniors covered by Medicare saved $23.5 million on the cost of their prescription drugs, while nationwide 3.6 million seniors saved an average of $600 each on prescriptions.
On Friday, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed legislation creating a state exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act and shared how health care reform has already helped Washingtonians:
Here in Washington, the Act means more than 2.4 million Washingtonians no longer have a lifetime limit on their health insurance plan, giving them hope and help. More than 1.2 million Washingtonians have either received or added coverage for important preventive services. More than 62,000 seniors received a significant rebate to help cover prescription drug costs when they hit the donut hole in 2010.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told the Dallas South News how the Affordable Care Act’s preventive care measures are helping Texans gain access to care:
Studies have shown that preventive care leads to the most positive health outcomes, especially as it relates to treatable cancers and other diseases. In 2011, 2,208,969 people with Medicare in Texas received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. Another 3,836,000 Texans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing.
And in New Mexico,State Senator Dede Feldman wrote in the Albuquerque Journal how the Affordable Care Act is helping people across New Mexico gain access to health insurance:
…New Mexico is already reaping the benefits. More than 23,000 university students are able to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until they reach 26. Over 850 New Mexicans with pre-existing conditions like cancer or diabetes are now obtaining insurance through the high-risk pool set up in the state thanks to the new law.