Health Care Access Reform’s One-Year Anniversary

Today is the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law.


When fully implemented, THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT will cover 32 million Americans and begin to lower the rate of growth in health care spending.

To counter the conservative disinformation machine, health care advocacy groups nation-wide are sponsoring educational events to raise awareness about the law’s benefits and features, as well as efforts in implementing the measure to-date.

IMPLEMENTATION SUCCESS as a result of the law:

  • States received  $250 million in federal funding to strengthen their ability to review, revise, or reject unreasonable premium rate hikes.
  • Nearly four million seniors who fell into the Medicare Part D doughnut hole received federal assistance that helped them purchase medications
  • 150,000 seniors have undergone a free wellness exam this year
  • The government recovered $4 billion in fraud last year
  • The law provides resources to seek out waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare
  • New regulations seek to keep health insurers more accountable and increase access to coverage.

Moreover, starting this year, health care access is protected as insurance companies may no longer:

  • discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions,
  • drop coverage because of a simple mistake on an application,
  • institute lifetime caps,
  • limit choice of doctors,
  • charge more for emergency services obtained out of network, or
  • levy deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance for certain preventive benefits.

Also starting now:

  • more than a million young adults can stay on their parents’ plans until their 26th birthday
  • all citizens have the right to appeal insurer decisions to an independent third party.
  • four million small businesses have  access to $40 billion in tax credits
  • 12,400 Americans with pre-existing conditions are receiving coverage through temporary high-risk insurance pools that will provide coverage for sicker individuals until 2014.
  • citizens may compare available plan benefits, prices, and application denial rates at
  • and then in 2011, the website will include pricing and comparison information  for small businesses.


  • Starting in 2014, citizens and their families will have more options through state-based health care exchanges
  • Americans will be able to select new regulated plans that will offer a comprehensive set of benefits.
  • Under the law, if states fail to establish their own exchange, the federal government will build one for them — States like Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Alaska have refused to build their own unique marketplaces and have instead suggested that they would allow the federal government to step in.
  • States that establish their own exchanges will determine the rules of their own markets (or partner with other states), determine which insurance companies may offer coverage, and define benefits rules.
  • Americans below 133 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL) will be able to enroll in an expanded Medicaid program.
  • Next year, the federal government  will issue defined regulations determining the flexibility of states to structure their health insurance exchanges.

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