The Public Health Institute Celebrates Affordable Care Act Successes, Calls for Action to Protect Law and Prevention Programs

The Public Health Institute celebrates the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and the many ways in which this landmark legislation has already helped millions of Americans.

Today the Public Health Institute (PHI) celebrates the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the many ways in which this landmark legislation has already helped millions of Americans. Because of the Affordable Care Act:

  • 2.5 million young adults under the age of 26 have health insurance because they could stay on their parents’ plan.
  • 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime dollar limits on their coverage.
  • More than 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.

Insurers now must cover a range of evidence-based preventive health services without charging co-pays or deductibles.Americans will continue to benefit as the ACA’s full set of protections and provisions are implemented through 2014.In addition to improvements in access to coverage and care, the ACA, through its Prevention and Public Health Fund, is making critical investments in disease prevention and health promotion so more Americans can stay healthy in the first place.

In California, PHI has been proud to play a key role in implementing the Prevention Fund’s Community Transformation Grant (CTG) program. PHI was selected in the historic first round of CTG funding and is now working closely with the California Department of Public Health, local health departments and community-based organizations to implement evidence-based interventions to prevent and reduce chronic disease in California’s small and rural counties. Marion Standish, PHI’s CTG program director, recently discussed the importance of this program at a California Joint Assembly and Senate Health Committee. Read her full testimony here.However, despite these successes, the ACA remains under attack. Just last month the Prevention Fund, a consistent target of ACA opponents, was cut to pay for the Medicare “doc fix” passed by Congress. Forces are aligned across the country to try to prevent the ACA’s full implementation.

As we enter the ACA’s third year, PHI is more committed than ever to the law’s promise to build a healthier nation. But this won’t happen unless we make our voices heard. Take action today:

  • Contact your Congressional representatives and tell them you support the ACA.
  • Combat misinformation about the ACA: inform and educate your networks about the existing and coming benefits of the law.
  • Listen to PHI’s Dialogue4Health webinar series on effectively advocating in support of prevention under the ACA. These webinars teach useful tools and skills that will be critical as we work to return the Prevention Fund to its original funding levels and protect it from further cuts. Webinars are available at the D4H archive.

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The last few years have been immensely challenging for communities around the globe—in some cases, setting back public health gains by years or decades. But these last few years have also demonstrated what works: Sustained investments in communities, health and equity, and policy change to support them. Now is the time to strengthen these successes, to ensure that no community falls behind.

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