The Affordable Care Act: One Year Later

Uploaded by HealthCareGov on 22.03.2011

I'm Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
It's hard to believe it's been a year since President Obama signed the Affordable Care
Act. Over the last 12 months our Department has been working hard with patient advocates,
doctors, nurses, governors, mayors and community organizations
all across this country. We have begun to usher in a new era where patients - not insurers
- are in charge of their health care. And Americans are already enjoying new protections,
greater freedom and lower costs. Thanks to a Patient's Bill of Rights, insurers are prohibited
from turning away children because of their pre-existing condition and families in new
plans have access to free recommended preventive care.
Beneficiaries with Medicare also now have the freedom to get preventive care - screenings
like mammograms and colonoscopies - for free. And over the last year nearly 4 million seniors
who have fallen into the Medicare Part D "donut hole" have received $250 rebates to help them
pay for their medicine. This year seniors with high drug costs who fall into the "donut
hole" are receiving a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs.
At the same time, millions of small businesses and non-profit organizations have become eligible
for new tax credits to help them insure their employees. After years of decline, the number
of small businesses offering coverage to their employees is rising. More than 5000 business
owners, unions, state and local governments, and non-profit organizations in all 50 states
are also using funds from the new law to cover their retired workers.
Over the last year, our department has provided funding to states so they can take action
against unfair premium hikes. And we've created new rules that require insurance companies
to spend your premium dollars on actual health care and quality improvements - instead of
marketing and executive bonuses. You can learn more about the law at
which also contains a revolutionary web-based tool that allows you to comparison-shop for
the best insurance options available in your area.
As the rest of this historic law is put into place, we can look forward to a healthier
future for ourselves and for our children.
So join me in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.
Thank you.