On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law and a lot has happened since then. As you may recall the provisions of the bill are phased in over several years, but already the following provisions have been implemented:
- Insurance companies are required to cover children with pre-existing conditions
- Any new health plan must provide free preventive services
- Insurance companies cannot cancel a insurance policy when someone gets sick and they cannot set lifetime limits
- Children up to age 26 can remain on their parents plan
- Small businesses receive tax credits to help provide health insurance to their employees
When the law is fully implemented in several years:
- 495,000 currently uninsured Missourians will gain health coverage
- More than 1 million Missourians will access coverage through the health exchange
- 961,000 seniors will receives free preventive services
- 79,900 small businesses with more than 303,000 employees could receive a tax credit to offset premiums
- More than 90,000 Missourians with pre-existing conditions will immediately gain access to affordable coverage
- 559,000 young adults through age 26 will have the right to keep their family’s insurance
- The Missouri economy will benefit from $8.4 billion in new spending.
- Employers will have the ability to create more than 6,000 jobs as a result of stabilizing and reducing health care costs
No new law of this magnitude is perfect and this bill is no exception…so changes and amendments will be required to improve the legislation. This is normal and we should be open to modifications. However, people who want to repeal this legislation are out of step with the majority of Americans who realize that our current health care system is dysfunctional and not financially sustainable.
The ACA has had a very good start and I look forward to following the progress of this legislation in the years to come.