By Angie Stewart
This week we will reach an important milestone in health care. Several very important provisions will take effect on September 23, 2010, as we mark the six-month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). No one will be denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition, insurance companies can no longer rescind coverage after a person gets sick, lifetime limits have been eliminated, and young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. These consumer provisions could not come at a more critical time, when more families are struggling economically and often forced to choose between buying groceries or seeing a doctor. According to recent U.S. Census figures, the number of people living in poverty has risen. In 2009, 43.6 million people were in poverty, up from 39.8 million in 2008. Now with key components of reform taking effect, the prognosis is a little brighter.
The ACA makes it easier to gain access to care because it expands the national network of Community Health Centers. Not only do working families have more secure insurance coverage, they will also have a place to go for care. The new law creates more health care homes, better quality, and lower costs.
The ACA is making health care closer to what it should be—available to more people, easy to access, and lower cost. As we celebrate the six-month anniversary of the ACA, we look toward the future with high hopes as health reform changes begin to take effect. Things are really looking up for America’s health care!